Here is the design we are now working on, which Alex refers to as the Sliding House.
The idea (not shown in the photographs I’m afraid) is to put all of the buildings on one axis running along the entire South East boundary of the plot. At the road end would be a garage. Then there would be an open terrace, with the house then aligned with the garage. There would then be another terrace, perhaps with pool. The guest annex sits out to one side of the main axis. The line of the pitched roofs would be continuous from one end to the other (apart from the annex), including a the pitched roof of a glass cover for the pool. The whole scheme would be some 60m long!
An essential part of this design is that the house would be in two parts. The floors and some internal walls would be fixed to the foundations. But the side walls and roof would be made as a single rigid component and would run on rails. So this envelope could move away from the house itself leaving it fully open to the sunshine (or to the cold East Anglian winds, depending on point of view). The advanced version of this one has a cover for the swimming pool which is mainly glass and which has the same shape as the envelope to the house. So that in Spring or Autumn, the opaque envelope could be slid out of the way and the whole house could be under glass. Dramatic or what? Also probably expensive!
What makes this possible is a building technique whereby the whole envelope structure would be made of what amounts to heavy duty plywood. It is an Austrian system called KLH , made from regular softwood formed into panels of substantial thickness. Each section of the envelope to the house would be made from one single piece of this material, cut to size in their factory and delivered to the site. So the entire envelope of the house would be made up of four bits of wood glued and bolted together before being clad for weatherproofing and insulation.
It is an innovative design, which we are inspired by. But we are both worried about whether it can be made acceptable to the local planning authority and whether the extra expense can be justified.