Deemed one of the simplest, least expensive, high quality self-build timber houses this five-bedroom family home has become the model for a highly sustainable new standardised offer, the KISS House.

About this project

The budget was tight so the house is really simple: a clean cuboid form with no frills. The drama is focused in three areas which give the house its lift: the cantilever at the front, the huge opening onto the garden and the delicate folded plate stair whose lightness adds finesse to the open plan interior. The cantilever gets light to the half-basement, and the open plan layout maximises apparent space. 

This house shows how a challenging budget can be turned into an opportunity: the necessary simplicity makes for purity and clarity. It is an exemplar of how to achieve excellence through economy.

Use of Timber

Built using SIPs panels Sandpath is clad in Western Red Cedar. The elevations provide a simple and clean form in an angular shape that will grey over time. The dark grey-green stain to the cladding and windows help soften the building.

From Sandpath to KISS House

Sandpath has received so much positive feedback in the form of awards, press coverage and going viral online that architect Adrian James has teamed up with Trunk CLT to develop a new standardised custom-build house based on the model of Sandpath, called Kiss House.

Kiss House convinces through its simple form and high quality design and material choice. It comes in different sizes, with different fit-out options and very different cladding options, and is built to Passivhaus standard. The first demonstration house is set to be launched in 2018 at Graven Hill.

Kiss House is built using cross-laminated timber for its configurability, multi-functionality, beautiful looks and high sustainability credentials. It achieves high levels of insulation by using wood fibre, a natural bed-fellow to CLT. The combination of wood structure and thick wood thermal layer delivers a homogenous construction with simple detailing and high comfort. “We feel it has an integrity and reflects the quality of our product in a way that no other accompanying insulation could.” says Mike Jacob, co-owner of Kiss House.

Awards - Sandpath

Winner RIBA South Award 2016 and RIBA South Sustainability Award 2016,

Winner Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2015, The best house in the UK up to 2,500 sq.ft.

Further information

Sandpath is featured in ‘The Modern Timber House in the UK’ by Peter Wilson


Adrian James; KISS House 


Photography: Fisher Studios

Key contacts




Adrian James Architects


Trunk CLT

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