Moonshine Retrofit

Moonshine Retrofit

Invisible Studio Architects
Bath, UK | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Jim Stephenson

Moonshine retrofit

Invisible Studio Architects as Architects

Originally built in 1786 as a schoolhouse for a large country house, Moonshine is now a home that is formed partly by the original building and also by a large contemporary extension. Located near Bath in the West of England, the home has been designed by Invisible Studio and is occupied by the practice’s founder, Piers Taylor, and his family. It was the first project by the studio in 2002 but has now been completely remodelled to make it more energy efficient and fit-for-purpose. 

Over the course of the last 18 years, Taylor has designed and constructed a number of projects within the 100-acre woodland that surrounds the house, including the original Moonshine, a studio for the practice, a long drop toilet and the Ghost Barn. The first house predates vehicular access to the site and so every element of the property had to be carried 600m along a steep woodland track. Since that initial construction, Piers Taylor has grown and developed as an architect and desired to future-proof the house and make it as low energy as possible.  This was achieved by retrofitting the building to achieve exceptional levels of insulation, airtightness and autonomy.

The structural timber frame of the first house was retained but floors, walls, windows and the roof have all been replaced and upgraded. The house was extensively thermally modelled, and glazing reduced to avoid heat loss. A biomass boiler fed from waste timber from the surrounding woodland provides heat and hot water when needed, and there is electric in-floor heating linked to off-grid photovoltaics on the roof with a battery backup.

Piers Tayor, Founder of Invisible Studio, said: “I wanted to banish the demons of my youth and move on from the house which I had designed as a young architect. In the intervening years I have learnt so much, while technologies and materials have improved. We have loved living in Moonshine over the last two decades but it needed an overhaul and there’s something very enjoyable about being able to tinker with your surroundings to improve them, which I suppose is what we’ve been doing across the whole site.” 


Material Used :
1. Facade cladding: Sinusoidal Steel 13/3, Powdercoated, Black
2. Flooring: Oak
3. Doors: Smart System
4. Windows: Smart System
5. Roofing: Sinusoidal Steel 13/3, Powdercoated, Black
6. Interior lighting: Invisible Studio
7. Interior furniture: Eames/Marimekko/Arne Jacobssen

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