You may recognise Waterhouse as the stand-out home in Cornwall currently being offered as a prize on Omaze, who are using the proceeds from the draw to support Blood Cancer UK. With a market value of £3M, it characterises what many would consider their dream ‘forever home’. It would also be an ideal opportunity for the lucky winner to generate an enviable rental income, or, indeed, a valuable asset to sell and thereby become a millionaire overnight!
Setting the benchmark
As a prize, it is, undeniably, enviable. As a case study, it is also a fine example of the benchmark we have set for the properties we are commissioned to build. In fact, we were recently named as one of just three finalists in the Cornwall Business Awards for the Clean Growth Award. We also won the Environmental/Sustainability Award at this year’s FSB South West Regional Awards, and have made it to the Grand Final of the 2022 RICS Awards, where another recent project, Featherbeds – built by our in-house construction team – will be in the running for the Residential Award for the South West. For Waterhouse specifically, in 2020 we received the prestigious and highly coveted Cornish Buildings Group Award, which is no easy feat and one for which we remain incredibly proud.
Raising the bar
Determined to raise the bar in the world of new home design, especially here in Cornwall where the beautiful landscape has lit a burning desire in our hearts to do better by the county we call home, we believe that by exploring our clients’ visions through a sustainable lens, we can discover innovative, modern architecture that’s designed with their comfort and wellbeing at its core. Our ethos of Earth-led design was covered in some detail by our friends over at DRIFT, who dove into the detail of our founding almost two decades ago and explored how we have evolved, from our beginnings when we operated from the loft of a house, to now, where we manage the day-to-day from our award-winning healthy, natural and sustainable office. From here, we design buildings with the future in mind, and not in a way that leans solely towards looks. Although we do feel there is a definite allure to the homes we’ve helped bring to life! What we mean by ‘for the future’, is homes that are built with sustainability at the forefront of the entire process. In short, a promise of sustainable architecture is our ‘stake in the ground’.
Working with the landscape
In terms of design, we want our homes to work with the landscape on which they reside. Especially here in Cornwall, the county’s natural beauty is everything – it’s what draws people here; what inspires them to build their dream home here. Why would we not wish to sustain it with sympathetic design? Waterhouse is a great example, welcoming the stunning Camel Estuary into the heart of its every living space. Finished with natural furnishings and powder-blue walls, there’s a feeling of synergy between the coastal surroundings and the comfortable interiors. So much so that, despite the modern touches and contemporary design, it feels very much at home within the ageless coastal landscape.
Origins of the site
Originally home to a Cornish bungalow built in the 1980s, we were delighted when we were presented with the opportunity to create a family home that would better connect with the unbelievable location. Unobstructed views were a must, as was ensuring that the building blended into the landscape, and if you look from above you can see that the entire home is green-roofed. Combined with the restrained palette of natural materials that characterise the exterior, this allowed us to keep the architectural language of Waterhouse simple, with a nod to the wider landscape’s agricultural charm. We also sourced low-energy building materials, and, with the client’s agreement, insulated the home with blown recycled newspaper. This is important; in all of our designs, energy efficiency is paramount – particularly in the current climate, with the cost of living ever on the increase – and we always design in order to reduce running costs as much as possible. Doing so also helps to ensure our buildings are ‘doing their bit’ in a bid for a clean, green and sustainable future.
A sustainable way of living
Finally, we believe that a huge part of sustainability – of encouraging ourselves to foster better, healthier, more sustainable ways of living – is to spend time outdoors. Only by experiencing it can we appreciate its true value and therefore the importance of protecting the natural environment, which is why particular emphasis at Waterhouse was placed on the south-facing sun terrace. Hidden at the centre of this spectacular home and perfect for outdoor entertaining, the intimate terrace is a sun-drenched haven during the daytime, and a dream spot for stargazing after sundown, ensuring as much time as possible will be spent al fresco.
In short, Waterhouse is a tour de force in sustainable design – a raising of the bar in the world of luxury Cornish property – and while this may sound bold, we believe that it’s fair, especially given the fact that it earned us one of two Green Apple Awards. Presented by The Green Organisation, The Green Apple Awards are an independent, international, non-profit environmental group dedicated to the recognition and reward for those employing the best environmental practice. To win a Green Apple is something we’re incredibly proud of, and we’re humbled by the fact that it is but one of a string of awards we’ve received in recent years.