Mawgan Porth is located between Newquay and Padstow. It boasts a beautiful west facing sandy beach with steep cliffs to each side with caves and rockpools to explore. Over the past 10 years the area has become very exclusive being only a 5 minute drive from Newquay Airport, with flights to London. House prices have reached an all-time high and are now reaching similar values to that of Rock, Trevose, St Mawes and the Helford Passage.
Mawgan Porth is popular with surfers, beach goers and coastal walks. The South West Coastal Path to the north passes through Mawgan Porth towards Padstow, passing Bedruthan Steps, Porthcothan Bay, Treyarnon Bay with its natural swimming pool in the rocks, Constantine and Booby’s Bay, Trevose Head, Mother Ivy’s, Harlyn and Trevose Bay. Mawgan Porth is quieter than many of these nearby beaches and is frequented by families with younger children. The beach is dog friendly all year-round. The pitch and putt near the shops is located over an Iron Age Fort. There is a weekly beach clean which our lead designers Alan and Gareth attend with their families. Whilst many houses are now being redeveloped the village and shop remain untouched.
When redeveloping properties, it is important to work openly with the Parish Council, community and neighbours. ARCO2 Architects have developed a good working relationship with the Parish Council who have provided positive feedback to many for our recent projects. Our first project in Mawgan Porth won a RIBA South West Awards, Sand Dunes also went on to win Daily Telegraph Best Contemporary Home award and also The Sunday Times British Homes Award.
Sand Dunes is a modern contemporary house embedded within the Cornish landscape and formed using local craftsmanship and materials. The family holiday home has been designed carefully within the context of the surrounding coastal landscape and adjacent buildings, aiming to sit seamlessly within the scenery.
Sand Dunes comprises of two buildings, the main house for family living, along with a guest annex, and adjoining pool house. The main dwelling is a two floor, 6-bedroom house, with living accommodation at ground floor and the first floor dedicated to sleeping and bathing. The annex building is made up of a guest annex and pool house. The two interconnected buildings pose an interesting juxtaposition, with a varying use of natural materials cladding their exterior facades.
One of the overriding aspects of the clients’ brief was to create a building that was sensitive to the local language and materiality of the surrounding cove; the client was intent on the use of local tradesmen/ companies to complete the project. This new build house, for holiday use, was not only required to have contemporary sensibilities but remain practical for a large family. Due to the outstanding ‘sand dune’ location a key objective was to frame the sea/ landscape views, connecting the building to the ever-changing beach scape below.
Due to the proximity of the surrounding buildings and the visible sand dune location particular interest was taken in the dwelling height, massing and roof-scape, ensuring that sea views were not obstructed for the properties behind.
The site is subject to the full force of the Atlantic, with this in mind traditional locally sourced Cornish materials have been used wherever possible. The main building is externally clad in local Cornish stone with reclaimed Delabole slate at first floor. This theme of organic, primary materials is continued with the soffits in local larch and oxcide copper fascias and a bio-diverse roof. In contrast the annex and pool buildings are clad in a dark stained Douglas Fir, aiding in creating a hierarchy between the main house and the outhouses.
The construction of all the buildings was similar throughout, with dense, stone clad walls to withstand the elements and timber that will weather gradually with the sea-air. The first-floor walls and roof of the main building and ancillary annex and pool house comprise of a pre-insulated space frame panel system containing 300mm of dense reclaimed sheep’s wool.
‘Sand Dunes’ has greatly contributed to the rapidly changing landscape of Mawgan Porth, maintaining the delicate equilibrium between new development and the surrounding natural environment. It has helped to set a precedent for development within the cove, utilizing contemporary building techniques, yet promoting links to Cornish history through its use of traditional materials.
ADD Sustainable Construction are currently building our 2nd property in Mawgan Porth with a 3rd also under construction. Over the next 12-18 months a number of ARCO2 Architects projects will be started in Mawgan Porth. Imagery of these exciting designs can be seen below.