Lower Creek Bank – Restronguet
RIBA Chartered Practice CSA Architects was commissioned to design a new dwelling in the grounds of the clients existing home.
CSA Architects Director, Dan Meek told PREMIER CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE: “We had to do something that was very low impact, sensitive to its location and the site and that was the brief given to us. We were able to design something that therefore sits within the landscape, has green roofs and soft curves to it and I believe that we have achieved something that other people haven’t been able to achieve in that location.”
A key objective of the project was to ensure that both properties would benefit from the extensive river views, whilst also maintaining privacy. Due to the sensitivity of the location, planning was ultimately granted on appeal, with no changes to the design proposal.
The potential impact of the surroundings was a hot topic; hence the primary design feature to the property is a pair of perpendicular, green, barrel roofs. These allow the house to blend into the rolling landscape, as well as playing their part to insulate it, helping maintain a low environmental impact. Care was taken in the design to allow the roofs to be viewed from inside – their floating design, with windows above the walls, gives glimpses of the greenery, as well as the sky and surrounding trees.
Dan said: “The green roof is flourishing and is such a big part of the design. It’s not just the fact that you can see it as you approach the house so you feel like you are dropping into the landscape and that the house is part of the landscape. Some of the technical details that allow the barrel vaulted roof to visually float, so the structural design and the glazing design, mean that you can see the green roof from inside and that is quite a special feature of this house. It makes you feel part of the landscape and in Cornwall that is one of the main aspects that make people want to live there.”
The design also had to consider a protected tree. A clever cantilever structure protects the roots allowing the tree to thrive, while the residents enjoy the shade and the views through the branches.
The building is crafted from locally sourced natural stone, with render to match other local properties and timber cladding.
“We are used to using local Cornish Stone and this came from Callywith Quarry,” said Dan. “We have also used timber cladding, which is Scandinavia Redwood that is treated so it will maintain its colour. We wanted to keep the warmer palette so the fact that the wood is treated with a UV inhibitor means that it is still looking nice now. That was a feature that keeps that natural quality that we were after.”
With similarly crisp internal detailing, this property is deliberately luxurious in its approach, with a car turntable and the ark wood, white worktop and slate in the kitchen.
Following its completion, the project was ‘Highly Commended’ at the 2019 LABC Awards in the category of Best Individual New Home.
Dan said: “It is nice to be put forward for awards and I think they saw the project as being exceptionally finished and being collaborative. The LABC are more interested in how the team works with building control to deliver a good scheme so it is the quality of the build and the way it has overcome some technical issues that often goes towards the award recognition. What is nice is that it demonstrates that we are doing our job properly because we like to find solutions to problems whilst keeping that high quality of architecture.”