Robert Nemeth ‘Passiv Pod’ holiday homes

Koru Passiv Pod

The architect of one of my favourite modern homes in Brighton and Hove is in the running to win a prize in the prestigious British Homes Awards, which is run by the Sunday Times annually.

15 Lloyd Close in Hove is a building that I have often mentioned in this column as a fabulous piece of modern eco-architecture. It was designed by Mark Pellant of Koru Architects back in 2010 and features a zinc roof, reclaimed York stone slabs, a fruit-packed garden and oak flooring throughout. In collaboration with Jim Miller Design, Mark’s latest project – specifically for the awards scheme – is a design for a series of holiday homes for Habitat First, a company that specialises in the creation of holiday homes in idyllic locations.

Koru Passiv Pods

Mark and Jim’s entry is for a collection of detached ‘Passiv Pods’ around a lake at an unspecified location. If they win, their scheme will be built by Habitat First, perhaps at the firm’s Silverlake resort in Dorset where a 564-acre quarry and former RAF airfield is to be turned into a holiday community with lakes, woodland and other habitats once quarrying stops in 2017. Silverlake follows Habitat First’s existing 550-acre scheme near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, where homes can be bought within what is essentially a huge nature reserve. The concept appears to be both brilliant and admirable.

“The concept appears to be both brilliant and admirable”

The Passiv Pod is a detached two-storey eco-chalet in the form of a large conker (a very attractive conker, it has to be said) with four bedrooms, a jetty and helix staircase. Bathrooms and a utility area, with little fenestration, are at the back of the building; bedrooms and a lounge are at the front. For strict Passivhaus standards to be adhered to, each structure has to face south, and would, therefore, have to be built on the north side of a lake if views across water are to be created.

1,000 homes are set to be built on Habitat First’s Dorset site over a ten-year period which means that a commission could be something of a dream job for an architect like Mark with a passion for the natural environment. Competition will be stiff, though.

The public will have a large say in who wins the coveted award and can vote at As a proponent of high standards in local architecture, I will certainly be backing Mark and Jim before polls close on 31 July.

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