Situated on a steep hillside in Polzeath, Cornwall with views of the heathland opposite and the Atlantic Ocean beyond, the design responds to its challenging site constraints. Split into two forms, the house is characterised by a visible twist in the floor plate that gestures towards the ocean, maximising dramatic views from the main living spaces.

The client’s brief was to create a contemporary holiday home that maximises the site’s ocean views. A number of key site constraints have informed the design, including: a narrow site with steeply sloping topography, neighbouring properties with overlooking considerations and required access at both the top and bottom of the sloped site. These played a key role in informing the arrangement of buildings on the site.

The design response split the building accommodation into a main house and a supporting annex. The design of both buildings embody a corresponding architectural language ensuring continuity and a strong visual connection between the two.

The main house is split over two floors with the open plan living space on the first floor maximising views. Careful consideration to the impact on neighbouring properties informed an intentional set back of the first floor and the use of timber privacy screens on either side of the terrace. Habitable spaces have been placed across the seaward elevation; with the rear generally used for circulation to minimise privacy issues looking back towards the annex. Bedrooms are positioned across the front ground-floor level.

All floors benefit from access to external terraces. The first-floor terraces feature timber privacy screens, while the bedroom terraces benefit from solid balustrades for increased privacy. The annex follows a similar design approach with bedrooms located on the lower-ground floor. Overlooking is minimised by a timber planter along the boundary.

The house was constructed using a combination of local knowledge and skills. The material palette used is reflective of the area, including white render, slate and timber. The house is equipped with an air source heat pump providing a source of renewable energy to the property.

“Working with Michael on our project, Slatewater, was a most rewarding and enjoyable experience. His combination of architectural skills and knowledge with the ability to listen to our ideas and suggestions was fantastic. From inception to completion, knowing Michael had a strong hold on project management was very reassuring. We would strongly recommend Michael and his team to anyone looking to create their own unique and special home.”

Dorothy Lenthall
Client – Slatewater, Cornwall

  • Architect
  • Project Manager
  • Interior Designer
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  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Main Contractor
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  • Michael Tarring Architects
  • Michael Tarring Architects
  • Michael Tarring Architects
  • PCA Consulting
  • hartQS
  • Harbour Construction
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