This new house in the South Downs National Park was designed in 2013. We were fascinated by the strangely Mediterranean feel of the site, with its pines trees and heath, and it seemed to call for a building with a kind of contemporary primitive simplicity. We found inspiration in the 18th century search for the origins of classical architecture, particularly in Sir William Chambers architectural treatise of 1759 where he sought to identify the origins of the Doric Order in an idea of a turf-roofed Primitive Hut. A series of linked pavilions with projecting planted roofs follow an informal North-South line across the site. A central axis through the house follows the off-set geometry of the pavilions, passing through the library colonnade. The client is a plant scientist, and this library looks directly out through the colonnade to the landscape, setting up a relationship between his books and the ‘book of nature’. The colonnade will be used all the time: it will be like walking amongst tree trunks, surrounded by books and nature. The guest bedrooms are behind the library: guests emerge from the library wall like figures in mechanical clocks, again suggesting the idea of man’s relationship with nature and learning.