SOUP Architects – Delivering the exceptional as standard
Delivering the exceptional as standard, multi-award-winning SOUP Architects of Guernsey continue to produce outstanding projects, adding to an enviable portfolio including recently completed schemes such as Sarnia Cottage, K-House, Longis View, Coppercoins and upcoming projects including new build dwellings, various extensions, art spaces and extensions / renovation works to listed buildings and barns.
The practice also has a central London office with a workload and completed project portfolio of housing developments, one-off houses, extensions, listed building refurbishments and commercial premises across the UK.
With every project the practice aims to derive distinct and delicious variations from the influence of culture, resources and environment – which made SOUP the ideal analogy for their approach to architecture. They believe every project is special and each client unique and therefore work hard at listening and interpreting each client’s ambitions within the constraints and opportunities the site and budget allow.
This thorough approach to the design process ensures that SOUP create perfectly suited, beautiful architecture that maximises the potential of every project.
SOUP regularly scoops prestigious awards, including those from RIBA, The Sunday Times British Homes Awards and the Guernsey Design Awards – just to name a few.
All SOUP projects aim to demonstrate a collaborative approach to the built environment that explores the key elements which the practice believes is necessary for successful architecture. These include: Understanding the potential of undervalued sites. Where an off the shelf product doesn’t fit, they are able to develop possibilities using bespoke solutions.
The quality of the design is extracted from the most restricted design parameters. Challenging sites and briefs offer the most rewarding opportunities.
Almost all projects should fit within an established streetscape or landscape. SOUP believes that successful buildings sit harmoniously into their surroundings.
In every part of the process, SOUP considers the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the built environment which they are designing. From passive cooling techniques, to managing the impact of site activity, a sustainable approach is a key element in their thinking.
The success of their unique approach to projects is demonstrated by three recent schemes:
SOUP were approached to transform Sarnia cottage from a dilapidated former public house turned dwelling into a more functional contemporary home.
The property was extensively refurbished and sensitively extended on the ground and first floor to create a more substantial family residence.
Main contractors for the scheme were C.A. Duquemin Ltd. The restricted driveway and limited vehicle turning area determined the shape of the ground floor plan. The existing house was completely refurbished, originally having four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The spaces have been reorganised to maximise space and efficiency. SOUP added one further bathroom and a master suite with its own bathing and changing facilities. A large kitchen and dining area has also been added at the rear of the property, maximising the amount of light and space in the new family home.
An informal lounge area has been included in the end of the extension, which takes advantage of the garden views, creating a place that the family can congregate. A new utility and pantry area been allocated, as well as an existing lounge, dining and study restoration. The new extension stretches into the garden, strengthening the house’s connection to outdoors. Here, floor to ceiling glazing lead to an outdoor seating area which is sheltered from the wind and acts as a sun-trap. The new design of a floating master bedroom sits above the ground floor extension. The room boasts vaulted ceilings which look out to long views of the garden and fields beyond. A proposed sedum roof will cool the rooms below in summer and acts as insulation in the winter.
This project is of particularly personal interest to SOUP, as the client is the practice’s Jamie Le Gallez, with the main contractor being his brother’s business, Homefield Developments Ltd.
The project, which is still on site, involves the transformation of a listed barn building into a modern four bedroom house with a new extension.
Jamie Le Gallez said: “We have worked with the existing fabric as much as possible, retaining and exposing much of the existing material palette of stone and oak beams.
“We created a triple height space at the centre of the building plan to reflect the original proportions of the barn.”
The works commenced with a mere shell and involve the installation of new windows, roofing, services, internal partitioning, a kitchen, bathrooms, flooring and the construction of the extension.
In addition to the four bedrooms, the property incorporates an open plan living/dining space which flows through into a kitchen with further dining space. There is also a ‘snug’ area which can be closed off from the remainder of the house.
Further works include extensive external landscaping.
Jamie Le Gallez said: “The scheme has included integrating the latest technologies such as lighting controls tv/audio and heating into a listed fabric.
“The project has involved a great deal of work but is very enjoyable and I am very pleased with it. The main contractor is doing an amazing job and fully understands what we are striving to achieve.”
Specialist lighting for the scheme provided by Sensible Technology.
Deep in the heart of Guernsey’s rural parish St. Saviour, the K-House can be found down a narrow lane, overlooking fields in the south west of the island.
The local clients commissioned SOUP Architects to design their ‘dream’ home. The context is rural, so the exterior of the house reflects a rural barn typology.
Internally however, the house was intended to be clean, contemporary, and be loaded with cutting-edge technology. The duality of such a carefully ‘crafted’ home, makes this project so special. Large format, high performance glazing extends the living space into a courtyard, taking advantage of the house orientation to capture the light and heat from the afternoon sun.
Blending these ground floor spaces together extends the functions of the house during the long Guernsey summers.
Internally, simple and traditional materials were carefully selected for their outstanding quality and their ability to be used in a modern way. For example, blue granite square blocks form the backdrop for the kitchen, coloured plaster has been painstakingly polished on feature walls highlighting the stairs, and the consistent use of fitted oak joinery items throughout the house harmoniously ties all the rooms together visually.
In many ways the design of the house demanded much more from the builders, challenging them to experiment with innovative ways of cutting, finishing and polishing.
The main contractor was Mark Le Prevost, with specialist lighting for the scheme delivered by Sensible Technology. Behind the clean lines and careful detailing, the house is packed with cutting edge technology. A combination of air-source heat pumps, heat recovery units, solar thermal heat collectors and smart LED scene setting lights, all ensure the house is easy and cost effective to run, and a most importantly a comfortable home.