This house is all about drinking in the uninterrupted views of nature at its most raw, most pure…
A contemporary house on the coast in Cornwall. There is an open-plan living area/kitchen-diner, utility room, children’s bunk room, snug, wet room and WC on the ground floor, plus an outdoor seating area. Upstairs there are three en-suite bedrooms.
This Cornish home looks up and out towards the endless expanse of beach, sea and sky. By maintaining the ocean as the constant focal point, the architecture is never too clever-clever or confounding. Each room is set to lap up the view, with the exterior walls simply working as an outer skin to draw them together.
This altogether more escapist beachside project draws on pure white organic curves, porthole windows and circular light wells.
The innovative architecture takes the sea’s horizon as its reference point, with almost every room – yes, including the bathrooms – gazing out on to it.
White walls and large windows frame the outside beautifully, while furniture with classic, simple lines lets the nature outdoors provide all the drama.
The perfect helix of a seashell was the inspiration for the staircase, which rises towards a circular light well.
The central, open-plan living, eating, cooking plus ‘hanging out, whatever’ space is fronted and backed by glass, with the sliding doors on the seaward side kept open as much as possible during the summer months.
This beach house is also centred around sustainability. This house borrows some of the principles of Scandi architecture, retaining and reusing the existing heat and light while allowing for ventilation. The layout means it gets absolute maximum natural light, so there’s no need for artificial light in daylight hours. Meanwhile the house’s structure – render wrapped around a prefabricated timber frame – is extremely well insulated.
A minimal, distraction-free scheme maintains the clean, white aesthetic.
The stretch of coastland is both soothing and reviving – an antidote to the way our senses are overloaded in everyday life.
What used to stand on this spot was an utterly unremarkable house that nevertheless had a very remarkable view. Lots of older Cornish houses were originally built quite closely crammed together, up alleyways and narrow lanes that protected them against the storms. That’s all very quaint and charming, but this dramatic clifftop location beat ‘quaint’ hands down.
OUTDOOR SEATING AREA
This spot suits the unpredictable Cornish weather. It’s great for shade if the sun is out, or it’s sheltered from rain if the clouds gather.
Even the bath has a sea view, while the roof lights are designed for stargazing on a clear night.
The three double bedrooms on the first floor are each quite different, but they all have one thing in common: glass screens that open on to the sea.
In the master bedroom, sliding doors open on to a glazed balcony, keeping this space in touch with the elements and flooding the room with sunlight.
See more of the architects portfolio at michaelisboyd.com
Photography ⁄ Paul Massey