Located on a peninsula, construction on site was not a simple task, however designing the house out of lightweight elements provided ease of transportation down a narrow access road in a transit van. Gaining access close to the water’s edge was a challenge and as the site is liable to flooding, the ground floor of the home had to be elevated to accommodate changes in water levels. As the house is built atop unstable materials, the house’s foundations were piled down 10m to the chalk rock layer. The piles support a grillage of galvanised steel ground beams elevated above the high water mark. This limited the use of concrete and reduced the time on site required to form the substructure, allowing the early creation of a dry construction deck. The house itself is timber framed with a handful of steel beams to provide support around the large glazed openings.
The house has been designed with sustainability in mind and offers a far more energy efficient building than the outdated bungalow that was previously on site. An abundance of south facing glazing allows for a limited reliance on artificial lighting, while the deep eaves negate overheating during the summer. The insulation and vapour barrier lines are carefully maintained to achieve high levels of air tightness for the efficient use of the ventilation system with heat recovery.
While the home is built to be used primarily by Michell and his family, it has also been designed to be able to be leased out as a holiday rental, increasing financial viability of the project and allowing guests to visit and enjoy the secluded location. The house has therefore been designed to be considered as a prototype when others consider building holiday accommodation: a versatile home away from home whereby the design allows you to escape into the natural surroundings.”