Long House Community

In August 2018 Design Storey were invited to take part in a competition to explore designs & concepts for a new community housing project in Hook Norton. The site is owned by Cherwell council and the ambition of the project was to create a sustainable housing solution which also involved the community in the design process.

Our approach was inspired by the Viking long house villages, where the sense of community was very strong. Our proposal was for 10 new homes and a community hub contained within a series of thatched, lime-rendered buildings, clustered around a village green. These ‘long houses’ were inspired by the Viking sense of community and the local vernacular architecture of the Hook Norton Area.

Surrounding the green, private gardens and a naturalistic buffer zone of wild flowers and native hedging, contain the long houses. An existing stream, that runs through the site, acted as a landscape focus, encouraging wildlife, and creating a pathway through the site. In addition, a shared orchard and community allotments were included to encourage self-sufficiency and biodiversity. 

We really enjoyed putting together our submission and although we were not the successful bidder, we received very positive comments on our Viking long thatch concept from the judges “As Hook Norton Low Carbon we were very pleased to see the level of interest generated by our community led housing project and it was great to receive such interesting and creative responses.  Design Storey provided a very clear and engaging brief based around the sense of community created by a Viking long thatch”