With one of the most stunning views and an enviable position on the North Devon coastline, this brief to design a three story family home to replace an existing bungalow was an exciting project for the practice, but not without some very specific challenges. The site has a unique designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Site of Special Scientific Interest, made all the more interesting by a number of physical constraints.. Any development proposals had to respect and enhance the current condition of the site and structures on it and minimise any impact on the natural beauty of the area.
The concept developed by the team at Stuart Forbes Associates combined the use of vernacular stone and traditional methods of building, with a relatively lightweight technical structure on the sea side; a simple pallet of materials used inventively. The juxtaposition of the two materials is enhanced by the proposal to use a clerestory roof light which provides a clear definition between the two.
Use defined the floor layouts: work, live and sleep. The mid level of the proposed building provides the main reception rooms, kitchen and storage areas as well as flexible space which allows what is largely an open plan area, to be divided into a series of functional spaces for music, study and play. The upper ground and entry level of the building provides 3 bedrooms and a master suite, while the lower level contains a workshop, plant and utility room.
The roof is a key element for the appearance of the building from the road and in particular the view from the higher ground of the headland and long distance views across to Croyde Bay and Baggy Point. From the high level coastal road the planted green roof will appear as a raised garden level. Terracing to the north and south helps set the building into the ground and allows the garden to encompass and 'soften' the house.
Although the site is extremely sensitive, the thorough planning submission, incorporating careful site analysis, was successful in acquiring planning permission in its first attempt.