CONVERTIBLE homes, ‘sun snoods’ and chrome finishes are among the futuristic designs being put forward for Bicester’s self-build site Graven Hill.

Envelope Architects are one of several companies seeking to build a show home on the 1,900-home site south of Bicester.

Their designs show a snapshot of what could be the future for homes in Bicester as work ploughs ahead on constructing plots for people to build their own dream homes.

Founder of Envelope Architects Graham Brown said: “Graven Hill is not your typical developers site there is real care being taken to provide amazing walks, urban lanes, country lanes, they’ve kept the woods and are creating a village centre - it is a really lovely mixture.

“We put forward the Orbital House design to be one of eleven show homes built on site after looking into the most popular house type in the UK which is a three bed detached house.

“We then looked at various aspects, such as if we did a simple roof you would have people over looking so came up with the ‘snood’ design which also has greenhouse cupboards for all year round gardening.”

Other aspects in the revolutionary three-bed, two storey designs include roof gardens ‘known as snoods’ covered ground floor areas acting as ‘outdoor rooms’, beds that sink into the floor or come down from the wall, underfloor storage and Air BnB rental potential as well as a chrome finish to reflect light from neighbouring property walls into the ground floor.

Mr Graham also said designs are convertible in that they can be built as a garden studio flat before being later converted into two storeys, and even the possibility of relocating the upper floor to elsewhere in the country or further.

He added: “My view is that people want something a bit different.”

Envelope Architects are now hoping to secure crowdfunding to build one of the Graven Hill show homes and has a target of raising £255,000.

Mr Graham added: “It is aspirational living and helps maximise our technology to building houses for the future.

“It is refreshing to see Cherwell District Council has done this and I am sure other council’s will follow suit.”

Through a tender process the Graven Hill team have narrowed down a shortlist of designs such as the Orbital House which are in the process of being confirmed.

Work at the site is ploughing ahead and currently more than 80 per cent of plots available have been reserved, 56 plots, as part of the first phase of building 75 home sites.

Graven Hill senior project manager Phil Cringle said: “We are looking to develop a number of show home plots in partnership with custom build suppliers.

“It is intended that these plots will help individual plot purchasers to envisage what they could achieve on their own plot, as well as to introduce potential suppliers.

“We are keen to involve suppliers who promote high quality design, deliver excellent environmental standards and provide innovative products and processes.”

For details on the Orbital House crowdfunding process visit