Built on the edge of the River Alde in Suffolk, Broombank is a new build house designed by SOUP Architects on a designated site of ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’.

The building is set into the banks of the sloped site and accessed via a single-track lane that arrives into a sunken entrance courtyard, offering glimpses of the views beyond. The oak lined entrance space set behind the ground floor pale grey brick façade, is continued through the house to the informal, angular living areas that open out into the expansive marshland landscape to the south.

Large, sliding glass doors allow the surrounding landscape to be ever present throughout the house and carefully positioned rooflights allow day/sunlight to fill the spaces throughout the day. The use of naturally finished oak panels, power floated white concrete floors internally is complimented by the continuation of the handmade Petersen bricks from outside and the injection of small amounts of vibrant colour to the kitchen and bathrooms give the project a strong material richness.

The thermal mass of the concrete floors, masonry walls built into the earth bank and highly insulated sedum roofs help to maintain an excellent ambient internal temperature. An integrated MVHR heat recovery system ensures the demand for internal space heating is kept to a minimum and solar water panels on the roof supplement the demand for hot water all year around.

The brief from our client was to create a relaxed contemporary house within a reconsidered, ‘natural’ landscape that blurred the site boundaries to its neighbours and adjoining marshland. The undulating wild turf lawn creates a softened edge to the house into which the black lined pool extends.

Broombank won an RIBA East Award in 2014.

RIBA Awards Assessment:

 “This house creates an extraordinary unfolding relationship to an expansive watery landscape with a very limited and controlled material palette of pale grey linear bricks, plaster and timber.

The brick walls meander through and retain the banked landscape, offer a glimpse of the wetlands beyond. The timber lined entrance hall leads the eye first up through a top-lit glass atrium roof and then out through the long glass wall to the distant view.

The minimalist design belies the adaptability and liveability of the house: a large wooden sliding wall can separate the family room from the rest of the house, the glass sliding wall allows the house to open out to the landscape, folding shutters to the upstairs bedroom creates a direct visual and acoustic link to the atrium and rest of the house. In the end, the careful geometric and material choices are augmented by an exemplary control of light and views. “

Project Details:
Works commenced on site December 2012.
Practical Completion reached December 2013.

Type:  New Build Private House
Client:  Private
Architects:  SOUP Architects                                                  
Planning Consultant: SOUP Architects                                  
Structural Engineer:  BTA Structural Design                                                                                
Quantity Surveyor:  Baillie Knowles Partnership
Landscape Design:  Christine Hatt
Pool Design:   Letts Swimming Pools                                          
Lighting Consultant:     Atrium Ltd                                                            
Approved Inspector:  JM Partnership
Building Contractor: Robert Norman Construction                           
Procurement: JCT Intermediate Building Contract with Contractor Design

Key Subcontractors / Suppliers
M+H ENGINEERS    AES National Ltd                                                   
ELEC ENGINEERS   CJ Electrical                                                          
GLAZING SYSTEM  CSI Ltd                                                                    
WINDOWS & DOORS External Windows - Ideal combi,                       
                                 Ironmongery - Trapex Hardware Ltd,              
BRICKWORK  Bricks - Petersen Tegl Kolumba      
                                 Mortar – Lime Technology                                
CONCRETE FLOORING Installers - G.R.C. Industrial Flooring Ltd         
                                     Suppliers – LaFarge Tarmac
SPECIALIST METALWORK    Claydon Architectural Metalwork                     
LIGHTING   Flos Lighting                                                       
                  Modular Lighting
SEDUM ROOFING  Bauder                                                               
SERVICE LIFT  George Johnson Lifts                                         
Photographs:  Andy Matthews                                                    
Film:  Stephenson / Bishop with Andy Matthews   

Energy Assessment

Gross floor Area



Treated floor area

(i.e. all enclosed space)



Annual energy demand and CO2 emissions for heating and cooling (excluding any contributions from onsite renewables which should be noted below)


 61.66 kWh/m2


 8.87 kgCO2/m2*

Annual energy demand and CO2 emissions for regulated electrical usage (excluding any contributions from onsite renewables which should be noted below)

17.32 kWh/m2

 3.07 kgCO2/m2*

Annual energy from renewable sources and associated CO2 emissions reduction.

 0 kWh/m2

 0 kgCO2/m2*

Total Annual CO2 emissions/m² treated floor area

 11.94 kgCO2/m2*

EPC rating was achieved by the Building on completion

SAP Band B (Rating 83).

The basis of calculations/software / measured data used to achieve the above data.
Stroma FSAP Version: (SAP 9.90)

Benchmarking evaluation system that has been completed for the building (e.g. BREEAM , , SAP, CSH, LEED EPC ratings etc)
SAP, EPC Ratings.

Engineering consultancy that has validated the above figures.
Energist UK.

Brief details of renewable and/or low carbon energy systems that are incorporated into the design:
Air Source Heat Pump with UFH System to all internal areas.
Solar Water Heating Panels fixed to main roof.
MVHR System connected to all habitable spaces with Summer Bypass.