Contemporary Replacement Dwelling
Project Brief
Type: Replacement Dwelling
Contemporary Replacement Dwelling, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

Embedded within the Cornish landscape sits this locally crafted house aptly named ‘Sand Dunes’. A new build residence, with a contemporary presence, 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 three buildings, the main house for family living, along with a guest annex, and a 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 further two buildings are made up of a guest annex and pool house. The three 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 Mawgan Porth 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.
Planning permission was initially sought to enable demolition of the existing buildings found on the site, along with the proposal for the new house. The existing buildings set a precedent for the scale of the development. 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 oxide 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 developed and made in Cornwall 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.