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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 05:47 GMT 06:47 UK
'Mud wall' house scoops award
Eco-friendly house
"Cobtun" cost about 300,000 to build
An ecologically-friendly house featuring mud walls and solar panels has won a design award.

The three-bedroom Worcester property, which cost about 300,000 to build, was designed by John Christophers of Birmingham-based Associated Architects.

The house, which is called "Cobtun", was described as an "outstanding work of modern architecture" by the judges of the Worcester City Award 2003.

Its owner, Nicholas Worsley, told BBC News Online: "It's fantastic. Very exciting - a daily pleasure to live in."

People get to the front door and ask if there is a house here
Owner Nicholas Worsley

He said that Cobtun is cheaper to run than a conventional house, and is particularly economical to heat because of its concrete floor and solar heating panels.

"My problem is being overheated rather than cold," said the 60-year-old, who is retired.

"It's very open to the elements, you're very in tune with what's happening outside, which I love."

Mr Worsley added that the house is the opposite from being a blot on the landscape.

Interior of eco-friendly house
The house is not far from Worcester city centre
"It's a house that doesn't stand up and shriek at you.

"People get to the front door and ask if there is a house here, which is the effect I wanted to achieve."

The judges, including the city's mayor and chairman of the planning committee, described Cobtun as "exciting and significant", although they did express some concern about "certain details".

They added that the house was "an outstanding work of modern architecture capable of becoming a future building of wider significance".

The chairman of the panel, architect Walter Thomson, said: "Overall, this is an outstanding example of a good architect working with a good client to produce an excellent building, which we hope will be an example to others."

"The setting is picturesque and the building has been designed to incorporate many features to minimise its visual and physical impact on the landscape."

The City of Worcester Award scheme was started in 1981 in an effort to reward projects judged to have particularly enhanced the environmental quality of the area.

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18 Oct 02  |  England
'Mud hut' of future takes shape
03 Jan 00  |  Wales

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