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Emerging Paris-based studio wins planning for grotto-like Devon bungalow

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Up-and-coming Paris-based practice BoBo has won planning for a £435,000 flint-clad, partially subterranean house in the historic town of Sidmouth, Devon

Set up by former DSDHA and Laplace architect Henry Beech Mole, the firm designed the 125m² home in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to appear like a garden wall or a ‘grotto that had been repurposed’.

Beech Mole, a graduate of the RCA in London, said: ‘Our client [had] a very simple and concise brief: to build a single-storey dwelling for his elderly parents to live in – although the project was not without complexity.

‘The site had a previous planning inspectorate-level refusal for an outline application for a single-storey dwelling. [Therefore] we needed to produce a design scheme that not only responded sensitively to the incredibly steep topography of the site, avoided any overlooking issues, and skirted around the root growth of a protected mature tree, but that was also something that was radically different enough from original application for a fairly typical bungalow.’ 

It’s still a bungalow, but it’s definitely a radical bungalow

He added: ‘The design is, in its essence, the product of an exercise in problem-solving. The result is still a single-storey bungalow, but it’s definitely a radical bungalow’.

BoBo was founded last year in Abbesses in the 18th arrondissement of Paris and operates in both the UK and France. The firm recently opened a satellite office in the Devon town of Totnes.

The Sidmouth ‘rock house’ is due to start on site next January.

Rock house16

Rock house16

Project data

Location Moorcourt Close, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8SU
Type of project Residential
Client Private
Architect BoBo
Planning consultant BoBo
Funding Private
Tender date September 2018
Start on site date January 2019
Completion date January 2020
Contract duration 12 months
Gross internal floor area 125m²
Form of contract and/or procurement RIBA Domestic Building Contract 2018
Total cost €500,000 (£435,000)

Rock house22

Rock house22

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