CCD Architects – Delivering the exceptional
Delivering the exceptional, industry-leading, award winning, architectural design practice CCD Architects continue to grow from strength to strength, with outstanding projects once again shortlisted in the Guernsey Design Awards 2018.
This year shortlisted for their work on the Maison de la Falaise and Le Mont Saint Farm projects, the practice has won many design accolades over the years, both for their work on contemporary architecture as well as historic and conservation projects, in the domestic, ecclesiastical, commercial and medical sectors.
Andrew Dyke, managing director of CCD Architects said: “We are very pleased to be shortlisted in the awards – it’s always very nice when our projects are recognised. We have been very fortunate, because since the Design Awards were first instigated, we have had projects shortlisted every single time, and we are very proud of our track record and portfolio.”
“We have always been very much a design-driven practice and are not slavish followers of architectural fashion – rather we like to design imaginative, individual buildings which are particularly suited to the site and location, as well as the requirements of the clients.”
Le Mont Saint Farm
Shortlisted in the Residential Renovation/ Extension (over £250k) category, Le Mont Saint Farm in St Saviours was designed by CCD Architects design director Oliver Westgarth, as his own family home. Main Contractors for the heavy works of this self-build project were F. Watson & Son Ltd
The project involved the unconventional renovation and conservation of the listed farm and barn buildings.
This important listed complex consists of four principal phases commencing in 1657 and moving forward through to 1830, 1850 and during the Occupation. The current works establish the fifth phase of the building’s life and are clearly expressed.
The design rejects the traditional ‘barn conversion’ and instead creates a nuanced modern building, with fun, bright family spaces, whilst ‘framing’ historic features and details from all phases in a philosophically ‘honest’ way.
The main living spaces are mostly set within the north facing 1850s barn, which looks over a terraced landscape towards the sea. The multi-level open plan ‘courtyard’ draws in southern light through specially made rooflights overhead, whilst a giant 4.5 m high bespoke sliding door visually draws in the trees outside.
This central courtyard ‘frames’ the stone spine wall which runs the length of the spaces and acts as a tapestry, tangibly telling the story of the building’s life.
The north facing barn is hyper-insulated and lined, improving thermal performance, whilst creating a crisp visual finish.
In contrast, the older southern facing areas are lined using natural breathable insulation and lime plaster. The spine wall separating these areas is left exposed to the main living areas, but is insulated to the rear, encapsulating the spine wall and maximising thermal mass.
Multiple experimental techniques have been used throughout and the building now clearly tells the next chapter in its own story.
Oliver Westgarth said: “I was delighted to see the project shortlisted – which perhaps means even more to me as it is my own family home.
“I have been employed as a contractor and architect for my whole working life, and thought I knew most side of the spectrum – but in fact there was a whole side I had not experienced in being the client who is investing their whole life savings, as well as their dreams and aspirations into the scheme.
“The most interesting element for me about this project was in taking what is a very important and historic building and producing not just another conversion, but a contemporary, urban, modern, light, bright space which successfully mixes historic and new features, bringing out the best of both.
“It really is a fun, practical family home as well as an architectural statement and a conservation exercise.
“A key design feature was the massive 4.5 m high bespoke glass sliding door which is a really contemporary installation, blurring the interior and exterior division. Another important element was the polished concrete underpinning which provided a challenging way of lifting up the internal spine wall, which showcases all the phases of the life of the building, whilst adding our own new chapter to the story. This was a fairly unique feature which I don’t think has been done anywhere before and worked very well.
“The main contractors did a very good job on the heavy works contract. We chose a reliable contractor and developed a relationship that worked very well, despite all the challenges involved.”
Maison de la Falaise
Shortlisted in the Residential New Build (over £250k) category, the project at Maison de La Falaise in St Martins was carried out by main contractors RG Falla and designed by Andrew Dyke.
Maison de la Falaise is built into a hollow, quarried out of the cliff and is an ‘organic’ building which incorporates water, natural stone, timber and reed thatch.
The building sits partly within a natural swimming pool, and emerges from the ground as if it were part of the geology, with the landscaping forming an important part of the design. Massive boulders with plants in the dry joints are battered upwards with diminishing masonry above.
Out of the rough stonework, three frameless glass pods project, hanging over the cliff. At the upper floor level, the cladding changes to larch, incorporating another glass pod under the curved and overhanging reed thatch.
A slender and dramatic external stair, linking the two levels, leads down to a timber pad over the water. From the landward side, the house appears to be a small, traditional timber and thatch cottage; but due to the curved plan, the expanding interior volume is visually explosive, with astonishing and vertiginous views opening up as one moves through the unexpected spaces.
The interior is intensely detailed, featuring a three storey main staircase – a thin vertical concrete ribbon, from which the treads are cantilevered with no intermediate support, with glass balusters rebated deep within the treads.
The walnut doors are detailed with beaten pewter and glass inserts, whilst the bathroom doors are designed as photographic negatives. The fireplaces are built with white and blue Lias; the latter in a rare polished form.
The house requires minimal heating due to the thickness of thatch over the high levels of insulation. A summerhouse compliments the main house, and is approached via a sinuous walkway through the lush landscape.
Andrew Dyke said: “This is a very unusual building which I would describe as organic in design, appearing to grow out of the landscape of the surrounding cliff scenery. The landscaping by Steve Welch Landscapes is a vital component of the design, and has been separately shortlisted in the Guernsey Design Awards.
“The clients gave me a free hand with the design and were very open to my original design, which I wanted to reflect the fact that the other houses in the area, which is known as Village du Putron, have an Arts and Crafts style, whilst also creating a very contemporary feel. As well as incorporating very traditional materials such at thatch and stone, the design also features innovative elements such as the glass pods.
“The other unusual thing about the building is the careful detailing of the interior, with the feature staircase and walnut doors. The building is also curved in plan, which enables it to take advantage of the stunning views over the sea and the other islands.
“The main contractors did a wonderful job – as did the stonemasons Smith and Wilson, who rose to the challenge of learning to work in Hamstone – which was a change from the more usual local granite. The client loved the building too.”