7 Old Lydd road, Camber Beach, United Kingdom

Monday 3 Sep 2018
Credit: RX Architects

Architects: RX Architects

Down by the sea...

Building two new homes next to a site of special scientific interest presented challenges but the final result speaks for itself

The site lies within Camber Sands in East Sussex in the UK, directly adjacent to the famous beach and sand dunes which are designated as SSSI. The brief involved demolition the existing timber framed bungalow on the site and redeveloping it to create two large family beach houses.

The brief was to divide the site so that the two clients could retain a property each, whilst creating a harmonious design between the two properties. Each client had differing requirements from the properties, resulting in two completely different internal layouts in each property. The design developed to allow flexibility in the architecture for each client to customise their own interiors without compromising on a harmonious external appearance. These slight variations between the two properties allow a subtly individual identity to each house.

Landscaping around the site was very important, the buildings are raised above ground to maximise the views to the dunes and to put cars and bikes at a lower level. This creates a stepped entrance to the houses between stone retaining walls which are densely planted.

Externally the building is constructed in a combination of white brick and Siberian larch. These materials were selected as they can stand the longevity needed in the extreme environment of the coastal location.

Each property provides open plan living, kitchen and dining spaces on the ground floor with

individual rear gardens. The gardens then lead on to a communal shared garden with vegetable and herb beds which are maintained using a sustainable greywater irrigation system. There are large first floor living rooms and balconies overlooking the dunes to maximise the view and the southernly aspect. There are also deep overhangs to prevent overheating in the intensely glazed main areas.

The buildings are heated using Air Source Heat pumps, which create low levels of heat output into the underfloor heating systems. The buildings are highly insulated and sealed and therefore require very little heating and drastically reducing their running costs.

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RX Architects