Dezeen Magazine

Sarah Wigglesworth and Piers Taylor discuss straw bale house in Jim Stephenson's latest film

Architect Sarah Wigglesworth discusses her career and Stock Orchard Street home with Piers Taylor in architectural photographer Jim Stephenson's film What Does it Take to Make a Building.

Directed by Stephenson, What Does it Take to Make a Building is the second in a series of films aimed at understanding an architect's work by discussing one of their key buildings.

In the film, Wigglesworth is interviewed by architect and broadcaster Taylor at her Stock Orchard Street home, which is often known as straw bale house due to is straw bale walls.

Piers Taylor and Sarah Wigglesworth
In the film Sarah Wigglesworth discusses her straw bale house

Designed with partner Jeremy Till, Stock Orchard Street was Wigglesworth's first new-build project following numerous renovations and extensions, and she describes how they used the house to explore their views of architecture.

"At the time the idea was to bring together the promise of architectural discourse and what it could herald with the dramatics of architecture," she said.

"So we thought we would see if we could really push the boat out."

Straw bale house
What Does it Take to Make a Building was filmed at Wigglesworth's Stock Orchard Street home

Along with her home, the building contains the office of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects.

It was built with a variety of unusual materials including straw bales, sandbags, recycled concrete and railways sleepers. According to the architect, this led to criticism when the building was originally completed.

Straw bale home
Straw bale house is made from unusual materials

"Aesthetically I think it looks very different from most of what was around at the time. The materials we used were unusual and hadn't been seen before largely," said Wigglesworth.

"It looks quite disorderly and there are quite a lot of different materials, perhaps it looks a little incoherent," she continued.

"People have accused this building of looking really messy, that it doesn't look like it has real estate value."

Sarah Wigglesworth's home in London
Wigglesworth recently renovated straw bale house

The home won the RIBA Sustainability Award in 2004 and was recently updated by Wigglesworth to make it more environmentally friend and future proof it.

Taylor, who is the principal of Invisible Studio and has presented TV shows The World's Most Extraordinary Homes and The House that £100,000 Built, also renovated his own home – an off-grid house near Bath.

Jim Stephenson
Jim Stephenson directed and filmed What Does it Take to Make a Building

The first film in the series created by Stephenson was called Sunlight and featured Gianni Botsford discussing his House in a Garden project.

Stephenson recently created a series of films for a collaboration between the Open House London festival and Dezeen, including a documentary on the self-build homes of Walters Way and an interview with Iain Borden on the design of Crystal Palace Skatepark.