A breath of fresh air
Vote for a ‘green and pleasant’ home that could be a blueprint for our new garden cities — and win an Amazon Echo or DIY vouchers of your choice
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Orbital Living
Don’t dismiss Orbital Living as too otherworldly. This design was recently chosen to be a show home at the largest custom-build site in Britain: Graven Hill, near Bicester, Oxfordshire, which has 1,900 homes. (A campaign to crowdfund it is underway at simpleequity.co.uk.) Graham Brown, of Envelope Architects, came up with its most eye-catching feature, the “sun snood” around the roof garden, to solve the problem of privacy.

Made off site, the house can be built in stages, starting with the ground floor as a first-time buyer’s garden flat: its kitchen/dining/living space has sliding panels to separate rooms if required. The first floor has a larger footprint; pop-down beds mean the three bedrooms can double as work and hobby spaces, while generous underfloor storage allows you to declutter in a jiffy for an Airbnb let.

Between the houses, living walls and mirrored flanks bounce glimpses of nature to passers-by. Two large underground pipes move waste and recycling to a plant that also fuels the district-heating system.

Clusters of 13 homes are set around an oval hub for a communal playground, pool or allotment. The triangular intersections of the curved roads could become co-working spaces, pick-up points for online shopping or even laundrettes, with the hot air from the tumble dryers keeping tropical plants toasty.

Selling point You won’t be overlooked in your rooftop hot tub.

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