Ben Ridley embraces sustainability and combines it with comfort

Ben is an architect and passive house designer, who founded his own architectural practice in London. He favours a clean and minimalist interior featuring materials like wood, cork, cotton and leather.
‘I like good quality furniture that lasts a long time and fits with the sustainable idea that you buy things once rather than replacing them regularly.’
‘As an architect I have always wanted to build a low-energy home. So when I found this run-down
house in London, it was a great opportunity. My idea was to show what can be done on a traditional Edwardian building from 1907 to really lower the energy consumption and make it comfortable and sustainable. I tried to follow passive house principles: super insulated airtight construction, triple glazing and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. For the transformation I used natural materials like timber and local stone rather than concrete and steel. Stone really helps to keep houses cool on a hot summer day. This proves that sustainability can be an opportunity rather than a constraint.

Atmosphere is created with pure materials, with carefully chosen finishes and daylight. A limited material palette helps to create a calmer environment, and that extends to the furniture. Over time materials gain character through use, the accumulation of marks and dents.’
‘Furniture made of natural materials has a certain warmth to it. At home I like things to be clean and minimal, like a Zen space, a calm shelter to come back to after a busy day. When I see Astrid, my cat, welcoming me, I feel like I’m home. That is what I’m after: walk through the front door and feel relaxed. Minimalism is not an end in itself. It only comes to life through comfort.’
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