The Stones

Location Greatstone-on-Sea
Client Private Landowner
Content 200m² Private House
Status Built

2019 Manser Medal, AJ House of the Year, Shortlist

The shortlist for the Manser Medal [...] is a powerful list of unusual and creative schemes. These houses reference architectural history in a compelling way, and yet are strikingly contemporary in their use of materials. They pack a punch.

Emily Booth, Architects' Journal Editor

For more information on this project please contact Luigi Beltrandi.

The site is located adjacent to the sand dunes between Dungeness and Greatstone-on-Sea in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It lies at a bend in the long seafront road at the end of a strip of beachfront detached houses dating from the mid-20th century to today.

The design concept has taken inspiration from the immediate surrounding landscape, distant views to the chalk cliffs and the adjacency of the road. The street elevation is formed of sloping, curved salt-glazed brickwork providing a solid screen and accentuating the bend in the road, whereas the remaining elevations feature extensive glazing set in timber cladding.

The design creates a dynamic configuration aiming to provide different spatial experiences as one moves through and around the building. The plan and vertical forms are composed of truncated triangles which overlap to create irregular rhomboids that align with the principal views over this unique sea-front landscape.

Although the plot is relatively large extending to the high watermark, the actual buildable area was restricted, and further challenged by the requirement for car parking and turning provision at the ground floor level.

The internal accommodation is arranged with the living area and master bedroom suite at first floor; a first-floor cantilever balcony hovers over the dunes, overlooking the beach and the Channel beyond. A private terrace is located at mezzanine level and additional bedrooms at ground floor in a more intimate setting below the dunes. The seafront elevation highlights the double-height living area with its large truncated triangular window facing the sea. The inclined profile of the living space with external timber cladding echoes the inverted hulls of ships which feature constantly on the horizon.