The village of Canford Cliffs is set within the borough of Poole, benefiting from a sylvan setting and is in very close proximity to picturesque beaches. The houses within this area have a very varied style of architecture, and the large plot sizes complement this setting. The site in question is a raised corner plot with a dominant north western facing garden. The clients brief was to create a four bedroomed contemporary house with open plan living and areas of quiet and relaxation. They expressed that they appreciated similar design by this architectural practice which utilised copper cladding as a first floor design feature. The house was to be a dynamic holiday home and also required level access for ailing family members. It was essential that the design embraced the most recent suitable Eco technologies.
The exterior façade of this award winning house is striking. A variety of finishes enhance the curved structure of the building. A strong horizontal element at ground floor level in the form of a thick rendered band defines the main form of the building. The upper accommodation was then set back from the rendered band and clad in vertical copper sheeting intertwined with recessed timber cladding to add warmth. The juxtaposition of the cubistic copper forms set against the curved render band creates a dynamic form of architecture. The shape is further enhanced by stone cladding around the front door.
The natural curvature of the site meant that the design needed to incorporate the two main facades with street frontage. The site sloped from the rear down to the front of the site and the house was sited closer to the two rear boundaries on the natural slope. This ensured that the house had sense of prominence, with amble landscaping to the front of the house. This slope was further utilized to aid vehicular access and one of the pedestrian access points was located to make the most of the slope. The garage is set at a lower level responding to the cut in the site with a set of wide access steps directing individuals to the front door. To enhance the sense of arrival the steps are flanked by two curved rendered walls, adding a softer form. An additional pedestrian access point is located to the highest point of the site thereby ensuring that the ailing family members have flat access into the site.
The front door is located on the northern side of the site. The height over the front lobby is reduced before entering a large double volume hallway, which enhances the sense of arrival. This area is flooded with natural light from a feature square roof light located overhead. A large north facing window allows views out from the first floor landing. The staircase became a design element and following from the cubistic exterior design a rendered floating stepladder effect was introduced. The form of the staircase was enhanced with the use of timber treads which resulted in a floating form. The frameless glass balustrade offers a neat architectural detail solution that further expresses the form of the staircase.
The internal accommodation flows from the central hub of the entrance hall, a full height glass wall and glass doors adds an uninterrupted view into the main formal living room. A curved glazed wall provides views out to the garden and access onto the curved stone terrace is via a pair of centrally located doors. A raised private sitting area is located to the rear most corner of the site, this acts as a sun-trap through the day.
The piece de resistance of the house is the open plan kitchen, dining and living area that has floor to ceiling glazing on three sides. Four columns help create a cavernous room that has triple track sliding doors allowing the room to become an in-out space with a direct flush threshold accessing the terrace and garden. The kitchen forms a back drop to the room with floor to ceiling units in a mixture of soft painted colours, the large central kitchen island has a floating cantilever which creates a breakfast bar area, above this are four red hanging lights adding a sense of fun and a splash of colour.
To the rear of the property is the quiet zone with the study with direct access to the rear courtyard. The retaining walls of this courtyard are finished in white painted render and flood the study with natural light. A utility room is located centrally to the house and is accessed via a door off the hall way and through a secret door from the kitchen
The first floor accommodation is accessed through the double volume hallway, with views from the landing into the entrance hallway and out towards the driveway and trees beyond. Four bedrooms are laid out in such a manner as to afford privacy, the guest bedroom has the added benefit of a full en-suite. The master bedroom has a private balcony area finished in composite decking and frameless polished edge glass balustrading. The master bedroom en-suite has floor to ceiling opaque glazing on two sides which floods the room with natural light. A walk in dressing room adds the finishing touch to the hotel style luxury.
The house has been constructed to Code for Sustainable Homes level 3 with the inclusion of a several energy efficient and sustainable products. The inclusion of air source heat pumps, solar thermal panels, photovoltaic panels, and a heat ventilation system provide sustainable heating and hot water. In addition rain water harvesting provides treated water to the guest toilet and garden. A sedum green roof to the surround of the first floor adds the benefit of a sustainable urban drainage system which will significantly reduce the rain fall run off and provides a microclimate for bird and insect life whilst reducing the heat production of the urban environment.
The design has resulted in a striking, energy efficient family home, achieving all of the client’s aspirations and more.