Last month the Rothschild Foundation moved into a renovated dairy building situated on the Estate at Windmill Hill, in Aylesbury, England.
The Rothschilds feature prominently on this news site, mostly because the family’s green superstar is involved in a host of environmentally-positive programs. We recently featured an interview with David de Rothschild, and reviewed Plastiki, an inspiring book that David wrote following his epic journey across the Pacific in a boat made from Plastic.
Lord Jacob Rothschild has a less green record given his support of IEI’s designs on Israel’s oil shale reserves. But the recent emphasis on greening an old dairy farm that now houses the Rothschild Foundation and the Waddesdon Archives demonstrates that overall, this family is committed to environmental and other important issues. One of the last of 44 Rothschild buildings constructed during the 19th century still standing and accessible to the public, the dairy farmhouse in Aylesbury needed an upgrade. Most of the on-site buildings were in such poor repair that it was necessary to completely redo them, though the existing footprint was maintained.
One important challenge was to green the buildings without compromising the Waddeson archives. As such, the archives are stored in a building that has 1.5meter thick walls. This keeps the room cool without requiring undue energy.
Elsewhere, attractive vertical louvers reduce solar gain to keep the buildings cool, while much of the heat throughout the complex is sourced from ground heat pumps. All of Windmill Hill’s greywater is recycled.
All of the enhancements have been made such that the historical integrity of the former farm remains intact. It’s a stunning renovation that supports energy and natural resource conservation, as well as stellar architecture. Designed by Stephen Marshall Architects, the building is being considered for the Stirling Prize.
:: Arch Daily
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