Twin Brothers Build Matching Industrial-Chic Homes With Millpond Views
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Twin Brothers Build Matching Industrial-Chic Homes With Millpond Views

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By Lucy Wang
In the English city of Sheffield, identical twin brothers take on the ambitious challenge of realizing their side-by-side dream homes using identical raw materials.

For identical twin brothers Nik and Jon Daughtry, their shared dream to self-build matching family homes next door to each other seemed natural—after all, they already had matching cars, dogs, and a shared workspace at their Sheffield-based design studio DED.

At 2,120 square feet, Jon and Ali's home (on the left) is slightly smaller than his brother's 2,540-square-foot house (on the right). Though the homes feature different floor plans, each has five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

At 2,120 square feet, Jon and Ali's home (on the left) is slightly smaller than his brother's 2,540-square-foot house (on the right). Though the homes feature different floor plans, each has five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

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Working together with local architects CODA Bespoke, Nik and Jon purchased a nearby lot—conveniently located behind the two neighboring cottages the brothers were renting—for £175,000 ($222,500 USD) and began the ambitious and challenging process of bringing their dream homes to life in their spare time.

A glimpse of the galley kitchen in Jon's house. Microcement flooring with underfloor heating can be found throughout both homes.

A glimpse of the galley kitchen in Jon's house. Microcement flooring with underfloor heating can be found throughout both homes.

Tucked behind the galley kitchen is Jon and Ali's master bedroom that overlooks views of the valley.

Tucked behind the galley kitchen is Jon and Ali's master bedroom that overlooks views of the valley.

"We wanted to build two contemporary family homes that pay homage to the industrial past," said the brothers, referring to the site’s former corn mill and existing 200-year-old milldam and half-acre millpond. "We also wanted to regenerate the dam and increase its biodiversity, connect the houses with the natural beauty of the site, and create open, bright spaces to be shared and enjoyed together."

Jon and Ali's living room is anchored with a double-faced concrete masonry chimney with indoor and outdoor functionality. The steel stairs on the left lead up to a mezzanine study area.

Jon and Ali's living room is anchored with a double-faced concrete masonry chimney with indoor and outdoor functionality. The steel stairs on the left lead up to a mezzanine study area.

Massive sliding glass doors frame views of the millpond and champion indoor/outdoor living. The bespoke lighting fixtures were a collaborative effort between DED and Tyson Studio. The sofa is from Habitat.

Massive sliding glass doors frame views of the millpond and champion indoor/outdoor living. The bespoke lighting fixtures were a collaborative effort between DED and Tyson Studio. The sofa is from Habitat.

Constructed after an arduous 18-month build process documented on a 19th-season episode of Grand Designs, the project—dubbed Corn Yard—cost £620,000 (approximately $788,000 USD). The two houses span a combined footprint of 4,660 square feet and house Nik and Jon along with their partners, Emma and Ali respectively, and a total of eight children between them.

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In both houses, the children's bedrooms are spread out on multiple floors.

In both houses, the children's bedrooms are spread out on multiple floors.

Raised on stilts to the level of the pond, the black, corrugated-steel-clad buildings are made of materials selected for durability, low maintenance, and cost performance.

The heart of Nik and Emma's home is a spacious galley kitchen fitted out with precision-cut cabinets, ceramic-coated stainless steel countertops and Siemens appliances.

The heart of Nik and Emma's home is a spacious galley kitchen fitted out with precision-cut cabinets, ceramic-coated stainless steel countertops and Siemens appliances.

Pre-cast concrete slab flooring, black steel framing, and exposed concrete block walls give the homes a minimalist, industrial appearance. Meanwhile, plywood wall surfaces and floor-to-ceiling windows pull warmth, light, and landscape views into the interior.

A concrete masonry wall divides the dining area from the living room. As in Jon and Ali's house, walls of glass open up the living spaces to the millpond.

A concrete masonry wall divides the dining area from the living room. As in Jon and Ali's house, walls of glass open up the living spaces to the millpond.

The wood-burning stove in the living room is from Stuv. Plywood-lined ceilings lend a sense of warmth to the industrial-inspired palette. The rug and coffee table are from Habitat.

The wood-burning stove in the living room is from Stuv. Plywood-lined ceilings lend a sense of warmth to the industrial-inspired palette. The rug and coffee table are from Habitat.

"The houses needed to be multi split-leveled to draw the occupants up through the spaces to navigate the five-meter dam wall and arrive in the main living space level with the water," explain the brothers.

The dining area is located a split-level above the kitchen in Nik and Emma's home. The plywood-clad volume above houses the master bedroom.

The dining area is located a split-level above the kitchen in Nik and Emma's home. The plywood-clad volume above houses the master bedroom.

The view from the dining area into Nik and Emma's galley kitchen below.

The view from the dining area into Nik and Emma's galley kitchen below.

According to the project brief, "The most challenging part was that in order to protect the original dam wall and an exposed waterwheel pit (some eight meters deep), the houses were built two meters away from the wall on stilts that bridged the waterwheel pit on a cantilevered level with the dam."

Nik and Emma's master bedroom also overlooks views of the millpond.

Nik and Emma's master bedroom also overlooks views of the millpond.

A peek inside the adjoining master bathroom decorated with Marrakesh Design wall tiles, air plants and exposed copper piping.

A peek inside the adjoining master bathroom decorated with Marrakesh Design wall tiles, air plants and exposed copper piping.

The brothers also transformed the pond into a haven for biodiversity, while harnessing the dam using Nuenta energy blades to generate enough heat for underfloor heating and to meet the hot water requirements of both homes.

A view from the outdoor deck with Jon and Ali's house on the right and Nik and Emma's home to the left.

A view from the outdoor deck with Jon and Ali's house on the right and Nik and Emma's home to the left.

A shot of the two houses from across the pond. "It's campfires by the pond, dinner cooked in the wood fire oven…we are living the dream," say the brothers.

A shot of the two houses from across the pond. "It's campfires by the pond, dinner cooked in the wood fire oven…we are living the dream," say the brothers.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: CODA Bespoke / @codabespoke

Interior Design: DED

Builder/ General Contractor: Roger Raven Construction

Structural Engineer: Collins Hall Green

Lighting Design: Tyson Studio

Cabinetry Design/ Installation: Kerf Works