Cornwall House

A new build family holiday house.
A family who have holidayed in North Cornwall for generations reclaimed a previous allotment, full to the brim with plants, veg and mature shrubs. Sitting in a delightfully sheltered spot with gorgeous views of the sea, the house is accessed via a discreet track such that only when one has climbed a gentle rise, one is surprised by this clean, low, rectilinear form with butterfly roof, all nestled within a mature Cornish garden.

Covenants, site constraints and planning restrictions placed the building on both an east-west axis and the edge of a split-level site, such that the central open-plan living, eating and cooking area bleeds seamlessly onto the higher-levelled southern garden, leaving, in turn, a generous northern and lower – levelled gravel garden with parking for 3 cars.

Made to meet a very exacting holiday-style living brief, the principle of the design is a nod to the New Zealand batch house, whereby a large central living area trumps the size of bedrooms and bathrooms so that everyone and everything can spill outside. There are two pods at either end, each with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a utility room with masses of off- corridor storage that converges into an open-plan multi-use space. All bedrooms are double aspect with internal windows that increase the sense of space and feed light from the full- length-of-building roof-light. The open-plan area provides eating for 10+ at the main table and 3 extra at the kitchen bar. There are two seating areas that sits at least 10 with a facility to watch TV or project a film for winter film nights.

The building is clad in charred kiln-dried kebony, the windows and doors are sprayed aluminium with slim profiles and deep reveals and the butterfly roof is single membrane with cement board soffit and sprayed aluminium fascia. A variety of finned cedar clad sheds and deep storage are dotted around the perimeter of the site, so important is this holiday requirement. And this finned cedar cladding is picked up by the southern garden’s perimeter fence that junctions sections of deep aubergine coloured rendered walls before terminating by the outdoor shower and drying area. Slim black slate chevron tiles, that also pick up on the butterfly roof form, immediately surround the building. As the slate drops down steps to the northern garden it junctions a lovely curved and raked Cornish hedge – a dry stone slate wall with infill planting of scrubs, climbers and ferns, themselves irrigated by a rain chain that pops down from the over-sailing roof.