Maison Haute & Maison Basse at Lieu-dit, known as Goutey, in the commune of Ruffiac, Lot et Garonne, France


The siting of the houses is planned to take full advantage of the imposing and panoramic views to the north, east and south and also, closer to hand, the villages of Figues and Bouglon and the church and chateau of Bachac.


In keeping with local custom the main outdoor spaces are sheltered from the prevailing winds.


The design uses a palette of local and traditional materials to integrate into the regional vernacular. The external walls include a mix of exposed bricks, render, timber-cladding and glazing, under a roof of colour blended canal tiles.


Enviromental issues are addressed and the design includes a winter heat storage wall and naturally induced summer ventilation. The simple double pitch roof is made characterful by the varying orientations of garage and house and by the creation of the kitchen light well.


The deep overhang of the roof, extending on the east, south and west elevations, also provides shade from the sun and shelters the circulation between the garage and the three independent access points to the house.


The plan is based on kitchen being at the heart of the house with other functions radiating from it inside and out.


The floor area measures 170m2


Planning permission June 2004