Blog: SECBE Awards 2023 Finalist Private Contemporary House, Guildford (Lytle Associates Architects)

11 April 2023

Residential Project of the Year sponsored by Advantage Structural Defects Insurance

Photos by Jon McCrae Photography

Private Contemporary House, Guildford (joint submission by Lytle Associates Architects and Flint Construction)

Residential Project of the Year Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 finalist

This new contemporary house is a private dwelling on the outskirts of Guildford Town Centre. The site is located on an exclusive road lined with high value properties and enjoys unrestricted views out over the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An original 1960s bungalow sat on the proposed site with brick facades and a low-pitch roof with concrete interlocking tiles. This existing dwelling was not deemed suitable to provide for the needs and desires of 21st Century living and was demolished under our proposals to allow for a new contemporary home with modern living standards & requirements.

The project brief was to replace the existing property with a new, highly sustainable dwelling, significantly increasing the internal floor area whilst utilising the existing footprint. The proposed two storey dwelling has the appearance of a bungalow in the street scene. Informed by the existing site condition, the ground floor is submerged into the slope of the land and is only visible from the south elevation. This design decision was taken early in the process resulting in the proposed ridge height being just over a meter higher than the existing. When viewed from the street scene, a colonnade links the garage, access, front entrance, and front elevation together. A ‘butterfly’ zinc roof floats over the first floor via a glazed ribbon window at a high level.

High quality materials have been used throughout, and the stunning views that characterise the site have been unlocked through the creation of a large first floor living space with expansive glazing. The south elevation allows ground and first floor view out into the valley, through which the large feature aluminium windows have thin sight lines that make use of the solar gain in the winter, spring & autumn whilst also maximising the views. The ground floor is clad in facing bricks whilst the first floor is clad in Western Red Cedar, giving a lighter appearance. Existing vehicular access was retained, leading to a new integrated garage and a new rear stepped patio set around a small lap pool providing for a descent into the rear garden with large Beech trees that were retained.

It was imperative that the design met with the client’s strong vision whilst achieving this transformation on a comparatively modest budget. A collaborative design team approach unlocked the potential of this tricky site, achieving a highly sustainable new building of distinctive character.

Due to the success of the project, Lytle Associates Architects collaborated with a locally celebrated photographer, Jon MCrae, to capture the new dwelling. His urban approach resulted in high end photography which showcases the beauty of the new dwelling from the wider context to the contemporary detailing considered throughout the project. We have also produced ‘fly through’ videos, which can be viewed on our YouTube channel, exploring the design through a high-quality 3D model.

Client's testimonial: 

“Lytle Associates Architects exceeded our expectations. They listened carefully, worked collaboratively, and prioritised sustainability in the design. Lytle Associates worked closely with our main contractor throughout the project, ensuring that the design was executed to the highest standards.
Their commitment to sustainability is evident in the design, which incorporated solar panels and air source heat pumps to minimise environmental impact. They took advantage of the natural light, views, and topography of the site.
Their commitment to quality, attention to detail, and collaboration make them an excellent choice for anyone looking to build a beautiful and functional home.”

Lytle Associates Architects also worked with Doherty Energy to ensure that the new dwelling went beyond compliance. Energy Consultant Jason Doherty comments:

“Projects like this don’t come along that often, we had an air source heat pump, MVHR, lots of PV and a great SAP rating of 107!! Not just Zero Carbon, we are 30% beyond Zero Carbon. What a great team, contractor and of course Client!!”


Key achievements:

  • Contemporary design with high floor to ceiling levels which generate a lofty feel to the rooms and large areas of glazing at the two storey southern elevation, providing unbeatable views of the Surrey Hills and the South Downs.

  • Replacing an existing 1960s bungalow with a new dwelling to modern living standards, using sustainable and energy efficient materials. Resulting in high sustainable credentials that went beyond compliance.

  • Collaborative team with expertise in contemporary and sustainable construction methods and techniques, resulting in a high end contemporary finish which exceeded the clients expectations.


Client: Private

Project Partners: Lytle Associates Architects, Flint Construction, Doherty Energy, Haworth McCall, MEA Consulting


Learn more about Project Partners:

Lytle Associates Architects (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube)

Flint Construction


Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 Ceremony on Thurs 29th June 2023.


About the Residential Project of the Year (sponsored by Advantage Structural Defects Insurance): 

This award recognises developments that provide a desirable and sustainable place to live that demonstrate creative approaches from concept to delivery.  More info.

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 finalists here

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