Lyme Regis, Jurassic coast house

Contemporary Home in AONB overlooking Dorset coastline

OCRA have been appointed to explore how the design and layout of a previously approved application for a single dwelling could be improved to optimise the way the building functions, is lived in, and  its cost efficiency/buildability. The brief is not to dramatically alter the approved dwelling, but to explore and analyse how changes in layout and form  will improve upon the buildability of the scheme, but also critically ensure a greater connection to the immediate and wider landscape setting.

The site is situated north-east of the town of Lyme Regis, elevated above (north of) Chippel Bay. The site benefits from far reaching southern views over uninterrupted fields and the Sea/Bay beyond.

Currently present on the site is a dilapidated stable block and an outbuilding/barn which flank the site on both the east and west sides, with access through the centre. The land in ownership continues beyond the existing buildings and forms a triangular parcel of grassland which borders a public footpath to the south-west leading off of the main Jurassic Coast Footpath.

The original scheme was felt to have poor connectivity through the rooflights positioned high on the roof plane, so we have looked to realign and locate the rooflights further down the roof plane. The existing upper floor room layouts also had limited connectivity with the view out towards Lyme Regis, so by re-planning the internal layouts we have ensured a dual aspect can be achieved in each of the rooms.

The original lower ground floor layout had limited internal separation and required the occupants to cross between the public and private spaces of the building, so by re viewing the access route and internal layout we have provided a clear separation between the private spaces (bedroom and bathrooms) and the public entertaining areas. As part of this exercise we looked at the mis aligned rear wall between the upper and lower ground floors and suggested that the lower ground floor wall is moved back to simplify the construction and improve the thermal and waterproofing details of the site. This area is not visible externally as it is cut into the natural topography of the site. By incorporating the previous void under the upper ground floor into the lower ground floor we have been able to create a central plant area, boot room, and utility area. These supporting spaces do not need the benefit of natural light so work well in this below ground zone. The relocation of the plant space will improve the efficiency of the services within the house reducing run lengths and enables nearly all services to be run internally.

The re orientated staircase focused on the central axis of the building now juxtaposes a natural stone wall internally picking up on the external pallete of materials. This inclusion of the local stone helps to reinforce the connection with the site and brings the natural warmth and texture of the area into the design.

Services: Pre-application advise | Planning | Technical