Form and function entwined...

The concept was a simple one.  To build a house, environmentally sound, and of architectural merit, that would allow my parents to continue sensibly living in a part of the country they love - beautiful, rural Northumberland - where their current house would not .  However we could not have foreseen the lengths we would have to go to to achieve this, nor simultaneously, with the emergent potential of the project revealing itself as we progressed, how far we would indeed go, to achieve what we believe we have achieved.  Shawm is an old Northumbrian word meaning 'to warm oneself' - a name that neatly encapsulated the ethos of the build we thought.

The project has been an enormous learning curve, for all involved it's probably fair to say, but particularly for me, having been central and hands on to the process from conception and design, right through building to final snagging.  The rationale for creating this website is to share what we've done and what Shawm is about in the hope of perhaps inspiring others to take a similar route.  In turn I will also be sharing my thoughts on how to approach the sometimes daunting prospect of self-building, and on sustainable building, architecture and design in general.  I hope you enjoy and do get in touch if you want to know more or I can help you with your own project...