This self-build project presents a modern reinterpretation of the vernacular long-barns of Suffolk.


This extraordinary piece of experimental architecture features a wheeled outer carapace that rolls on tracks over an inner structure to provide infinitely variable insulation, shading, light, acoustics and moods for the house.


The 16 tonne carapace comprises a steel portal frame with larch cladding and is driven by car battery powered electric motors. The inner enclosure is formed with timber stud and joist cassettes and industrial-scale greenhouse construction.

A piled foundation was specified to provide sufficient stiffness to ensure the correct functioning of the sliding carapace. A ground source loop provides heating and cooling via heat exchangers.


Blackpool Wedding Chapel & Restaurant

This new pavilion on the Blackpool seafront houses a wedding venue, bistro, outdoor dining terraces overlooking the sea, a tourist information centre and auxiliary office spaces.


Complex groundworks featuring a raft foundation and sheet piles were required to mediate between historical and new sea and retaining walls and to avoid surcharge to a 3m diameter sewer beneath the building. A cross-laminated timber superstructure was selected for rapid erection periods, sustainability, absence of wet trades, inherent fire resistance and factory quality finish.


The structure features post-tensioned timber walls to deal with creep and to permit construction of the large cantilevered ceremony hall. The proposals achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating during the design stage, with post-construction evaluation yet to be carried out.


MHA is an independent, award-winning, practice that was established in 1998. Based in central London, we work worldwide on all types and size of project and in all building sectors and materials.


We promote good design. Clients and architects who wish to create exemplary building projects are well supported by our exceptional design service.


Our strong and creative team enjoys working as an active partner in the design process and has the skill and experience to deliver innovative and economical yet robust and sustainable design solutions irrespective of the complexity or scale.


We approach every project in an open-minded, responsive manner so that we provide the best possible service and most appropriate designs. The success of our approach is reflected in our broad portfolio of completed projects and the many awards we have received.


Our working style allows both a nurturing environment and early responsibility to see that graduates progress to chartered status in the shortest timescale. We have training agreements with both the IStructE and ICE.


As engineers we’re aware that our expertise and creativity can make a difference to the communities in which we work. Our corporate social responsibility initiatives have included building schools in Africa on a pro bono basis.



First Floor

14-18 Old Street




tel 0207 375 6340


Kielder Observatory, Northumberland