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Work set to start on Baca’s Cornish cliff-edge house

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Construction is due to begin on this 444m² house on a cliff-edge plot in Mevagissey, Cornwall, designed by Baca Architects

According to the practice, the design of the £1.1 million, two-and-a-half-storey house has been inspired by the ‘Art Deco/Modernist architecture popular along the Cornish coast, sea waves [and] the humble British seaside windbreak’.

The four-bedroom scheme on the former Seapoint Hotel site includes a zinc clad ‘crow’s nest’ office and will feature light cream brick walls.

A future timescale is not yet known.

226 191003 close up model view edited

226 191003 close up model view edited

The architect’s view

The dwelling is visually split in two elevational elements. The section of the house nearest Battery Terrace is a more conventional orthogonal form that unwraps to become a stronger sweeping elevation to the seaward side. The sense of ‘terracing’ is extended into the landscape with low dwarf walls of flintstone edging the driveway which cascade into the garden to provide sheltered seating areas.

The exterior of the dwelling will be clad in textured bricks of light cream colour. The colour is similar to that of neighbouring building and of a similar texture of Cornish stone. The finish will be more robust to weather staining and seagull mess. The small ‘crow’s nest’ office on the roof will be clad in grey zinc to mimic the roof of the neighbouring houses.

Guests are greeted at the front door by a generous lobby that facilitates level access to the first floor of the house, and a spiral staircase and concealed lift which provide access to the first floor. The western part of the building provides a guest bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and a utility room that connects to the garage. The eastern portion of the house accommodates a reception that overlooks the main entrance, a gymnasium and changing room, plus three bedrooms with generous views out to sea.

To capitalise on the house’s location and aspect, the majority of the primary living spaces are located at the first floor. To the eastern half of the house, the stairway opens up to generous open-plan living-dining-cooking space where the majority of family activities are envisaged to take place. A curved window to the south offers spectacular views to the village and the old harbour while the dining space to the east opens up to an outdoor terrace, which can be accessed from ground floor through an external staircase. A TV snug to the north has more private and cosy character. A generous picture window frames stunning views to the sea. The western part of the house accommodates the master bedroom with en suite. A discrete staircase leads to the second floor office with a curved shape following the panoramic view to the harbour and sea.

The house has a flowing form in plan. The wall spring point starts at the north-west corner of the site next to Battery Terrace and begins in a low-key fashion by following the gridded plan of neighbouring buildings to trace the edges of the garage, then the outline of the bedroom accommodation. Three-dimensionally, this creates a massing in keeping with the streetscape before the plan unwinds up to create a flourish at the corner composing key views out over the harbour from this headland location.

After the wall traces the orthogonal pattern or the garage and bedroom elements, the plan loosens to create a welcoming entrance containing a curved feature staircase. This staircase follows the desire lines of the plan, threading through a double-height space and connecting to a glass bridge that divides private and public living spaces. The staircase creates a slingshot effect which is accentuated by the unravelling plan towards a series on composed views: firstly towards the harbour, then towards the sun terrace and views of the sea beyond. The building is also stepped in section to introduce both variety of daylight across the plan that in turn creates protected areas from the wind. The resultant design is a plan that creates both harmony between its internal planning and siting; and where the seaward vista has created a confident form on this headland.

226 00 gf

226 00 gf

Project data

Location Mevagissey, Cornwall
Local authority Cornwall Council
Type of project New-build house
Client Private client
Architect Baca Architects
Landscape architect Baca Architects
Planning consultant Baca Architects
Structural engineer Entos Consulting, Civil and Structural Engineer
M&E consultant Build Cornwall
CDM adviser Cornwall Training
Main contractor Build Cornwall
Funding Privately Funded
Tender date February 2019
Start on site date N/A
Completion date N/A
Contract duration 8 Months
Gross internal floor area 444m²
Form of contract and/or procurement N/A
Total cost £1,100,000

226 site plan

226 site plan


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Like most recent houses in such locations, the design seems to have been primarily driven by the need to make the most of the view.

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