Catch Beach House, Seasalter Home, Kent Residence, English Architecture, Property Project
Catch Beach House in Seasalter Kent
28 June 2022
Architects: Stiff + Trevillion
Location: Seasalter, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Photos: Lukasz Bernacki
Catch Beach House, Kent
Situated outside Whitstable on the North Kent coastline, the Catch house takes its cues from the traditional fisherman’s huts and boat sheds whilst making references to the indigenous materials and textures which inhabit this stretch of coastline.
The upper level of the house is split into two distinct, single storey, timber clad forms, which help break down the massing of the building to a domestic scale and which sit comfortably alongside neighbouring structures. The long ‘boat shed’ element contains the garage and master suite, the smaller ‘fisherman’s hut’ structure contains further bedrooms and a study.
The orientation of the two timber structures has been set out allowing uninterrupted views of the sea from all the bedrooms. The roofscape has a dynamic and asymmetrical form which reflects the constantly changing surface of the sea in the background and sets up the contemporary interpretation of a traditional, local architectural language. These two elements are connected by a Corten steel and glazed link structure containing the entrance hall and vertical circulation.
The house takes advantage of the sloping site with the upper floor elements cantilevering weightlessly towards the sea helping to visually separate them from the lower floor and creating an overhanging protection from the natural elements.
The lower floor reads as a solid ground bearing plinth with walls of roughly textured, insitu, board formed concrete. This raw materiality echoes the low-lying timber beach breakers stretching across the length of coastline in front. These deep concrete walls are punctuated with large openings which respond to the interior living spaces and room orientation within.
The lower level contains the principal living spaces, kitchen, dining, reception and also houses a private guest suite, tucked away looking out onto a courtyard away from the beach view and which acts as a tranquil external space sheltered from the more extreme weather conditions.
The sloping site has been carved into a sequence of terraces which step down from the access road at high level to the beach front. A swimming pool sits between the house and the beach at the mid-level of the site and commands uninterrupted views over the bay.
The simple palette of materials used in the house reflects the vernacular details of the area, with black timber cladding, insitu concrete, Corten steel detailing for windows, doors and metalwork all coming together to produce a contemporary interpretation of the locally built context.
What was the brief?
To create a comfortable and stylish family home that would be robust enough for sandy feet and would make the most of the plot’s stunning location.
What were the key challenges?
The exposed site and access was only possible by using a very narrow road bridge that crossed over a railway line. Covid didn’t help much either!
What were the solutions?
Catch Beach House in Kent, England – Buildig Information
Architects: Stiff + Trevillion – https://www.stiffandtrevillion.com/
Completion date: 2021
Building levels: 1
Photography: Lukasz Bernacki
Catch Beach House, Seasalter Kent images/information 280622
The Mitchell Building at Skinners’ School, Kent- 2022 RIBA Southeast Award winners images / information received 040522
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