Channel Islands, Channel Islands Focus

Smart seafront apartments have buyer appeal

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La Salerie Inn, St Peter Port, Guernsey

A smart, contemporary collection of 12 apartments – almost all with sea views – La Salerie lnn, occupies a prime seafront position in St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Located on the east coast of Guernsey, the site is situated at a recognised gateway into the town. The development certainly has buyer appeal, with two apartments having been sold even prior to marketing.

The apartments, with varying layouts, nearly all benefit from having sea views, with many having sheltered sea-view terraces. The top floor apartments make the most of the roof space with generous floor to ceiling heights and some have mezzanine floors.

The main contractor for the project is local company Seahorse Ltd; architects are Turnstone Architecture, Guernsey.

The project started on site in March 2013 and has been handed over in phases, with overall completion due in autumn 2015.

The development is being constructed on a 1,437 sq m brownfield site, which fronts a busy road and has had a variety of former occupants including a public house, a warehouse and residential accommodation.

La Salerie Inn, St Peter Port, Guernsey

The land behind the site was used to quarry granite in the past, although the quarry area has been cleared and is now occupied by parking facilities and a residential development. The granite rock face has meant limited construction access to the rear of the site and the need for significant retaining walls.

According to the architects: “The development achieves a balance of crisp, contemporary detailing within a sensitive contextual design and appears as an assemblage of forms, which respect the rhythm and individuality of the surrounding buildings.”

The building is constructed with concrete floors and cavity blockwork walls, with external walls in painted render and slate roofing to complement the surrounding buildings.

The front facade has been designed to reflect the residential character of the area and also a original warehouse building which previously occupied the site. This element of the design on the front facade incorporates pink granite and large glazed openings.

The building’s timber sash windows and aluminium sliding doors have been triple glazed to give excellent sound insulation and thermal performance, and solar panels have been installed on the roofs.

La Salerie Inn, St Peter Port, Guernsey

All of the apartments have fully-tiled bathrooms and kitchens featuring a range of designs and finishes, including Corian and granite worktops. All of the living spaces are open plan, some with a partially divided kitchen.

Two of the apartments have mezzanine levels, three of the apartments have terraces with sliding windows, with another three apartments having their own private space to the rear of the building.

External works on the project include the terracing and planting of previously overgrown land to the rear of the site, and the creation of a parking area laid with permeable paving.

Speaking of the project’s design, Debbie Joyce, Director of Turnstone Architecture said: “When we were asked to consider the design, a scheme had already been approved for a two storey development of apartments which matched the building heights of the houses immediately adjacent. We recognised the variation in the scale of buildings along the seafront and the capacity of the site to take a larger scale scheme. This creates a building which positively addresses the street and makes the most of its corner position.

“Previously there was a warehouse and a public house on the site and along the road leading to the development there are a variety of buildings of varying scales, storey heights and finishes. The development aims to replicate the character, forms and scales of the general streetscape in the vicinity in a more contemporary way.

La Salerie Inn, St Peter Port, Guernsey

“Each of the units has been designed to have its own individual character. Each of them is quite different and they come in a fairly wide range of sizes. Three of the apartments have their own terraces, which overlook the sea front and out to the harbour and the sea. The largest of the 12 features a double height living space with mezzanine sitting area and glass walkway. The duplex to the rear of the development has a loft warehouse feel to the design and incorporates lots of rooflights to flood the interior with natural light.

“Rooflights are a common feature of the apartments on the upper floors and are used give the space a nice light, airy feel.

“Although the developer has used the same high quality kitchens and bathrooms throughout the scheme, they have chosen different finishes to give each apartment its own character. I would imagine that the apartments would appeal particularly to professional people, or buy to let investors.

“This is probably the most significant project we have undertaken to date and is an important scheme for us. We are very pleased with the way the development has turned out and have had a lot of positive feedback. It has been an excellent scheme to work on.

“We have developed a great working relationship with Seahorse Ltd and we hope to work with them again on future developments,” she added.

St Peter Port, Gurnsey’s capital, is focussed around a beautiful harbour with a continental atmosphere and an ever-burgeoning array of designer shops and quality retail outlets. It is often compared favourably with Jersey’s capital St. Helier, with St Peter Port offering unrivalled beauty and old world charm.

What lies beneath the traditional townscape is far from ordinary, with large bank headquarters and legal and financial institutions forming the backbone of the area’s business appeal. St Peter Port boasts some of the island’s most expensive property with Fort George and Village du Putron forming salubrious private estates of predominately Open Market homes.

Turnstone Architecture is a design-led architectural practice focussed on high quality design and the seamless delivery of construction projects. The practice’s passion for the environment and place-making is at the heart of their design ethos and these principles guide all of their projects, whether large or small.

Located in St Peter Port, Turnstone Architecture incorporates a multi-skilled team with a wealth of experience in architecture both in the Channel Islands and the UK.The practice strives to add value to all projects by thinking outside the box, creating opportunities through design and unlocking the potential of existing buildings and sites.

The practice was established three years ago, and has a core team of two architectural staff – Chartered Architect Debbie Joyce (with 10 years post part 3 experience in London and Guernsey) and senior technician Peter Warr who has over 30 years of construction expertise.  They also draw on the knowledge of consultant architect Richard Sandwith who advises the practice on planning and development matters.

Turnstone Architecture can provide a tailored service which includes guiding clients through the design process, obtaining approvals, advising on procurement options and supporting every client through the construction phase of each project.

The practice provides continuity and service to residential and commercial clients, as well as having the capability to partner with other professionals when required for larger scale projects

Seahorse Ltd are experienced developers and have successfully completed a large number of residential schemes in Guernsey.  Seahorse Ltd dedicate time to the design, technical and construction phases of each project to ensure their developments maximize the potential of each site and deliver homes of excellent quality.

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