Coastal concrete house on a red
sandstone base by ShedKM

| 6 comments
 

London architecture studio ShedKM used walls of locally quarried red sandstone to help this concrete house in north-west England fit in with its coastal surroundings (+ slideshow).

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

Located in an elevated position overlooking an estuary, the Welsh hills and the Irish Sea, Rockmount provides a two-storey home for a family with four children, and features a large garden and an adjoining swimming pool.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

"The house aimed to suit a family with progressive views on design, give fantastic views from the living areas and make the most of the topography of the site," said ShedKM associate Greg Blee.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

"In addition, it had to limit its visual impact when viewed from the coastline," he added.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

The house's upper level stretches west to east, projecting out from the peak of the slope into the garden, while the lower level is slotted underneath and nestles up against the landscape.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

Red sandstone walls form the base of the building, referencing the site's past use as a quarry and functioning as retaining walls to support the tiered levels of the garden.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

"Outcrops of red sandstone jut out of the garden in various locations," said Blee. "This stone became part of the material palette of the new house, as it provided a connection with the local geology."

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

The long narrow swimming pool thrusts out from the southern facade, while a garage and master bedroom are contained within a small wing that extends out from the north, giving the house a cross-shaped plan.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

A glass bridge connects the master bedroom with the rest of the house, including a large living and dining room with a circular seating area, a piano corner and a surrounding balcony.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

Evenly sized children's bedrooms are arranged in sequence at the eastern end of the floor, and stairs lead down to a playroom and guest bedroom below.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

Rockmount was one of five projects nominated for the RIBA Manser Medal 2013 for best new house in the UK, alongside a translucent glass house in London and a contemporary house behind the walls of a ruined castle in Warwickshire.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

Photography is by Jack Hobhouse, apart from where otherwise indicated.

Here's more information from ShedKM:


Rockmount

Rockmount is built in an abandoned quarry at the summit of Caldy Hill, a protected landscape of forest and heathland owned by the National Trust. The house straddles the quarry rock face and at one end projects out from the hillside above the estuary of the River Dee.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
Photograph by Chris Brink

Local sandstone walls enclose ground floor spaces, but the majority of the living and sleeping areas are at first floor, taking advantage of the spectacular views. The house has a linear plan, with a more private annexe connected by a glazed bridge.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

The glazed, open plan living area, containing kitchen, dining and sunken snug contrasts with a massive concrete chimney sitting alongside the house. Upper and lower levels are linked by a double-height void containing a steel and concrete staircase.

Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM

Spaces are arranged to allow long views along two axes, the length and breadth of the house, constantly connecting the user with the surrounding landscape. Walls and level changes merge the geometry of the house with the gardens, which have been left predominantly natural to blend into the Caldy Hill landscape.

Site plan of Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
Site plan - click for larger image

The house is uncompromisingly modern and striking in form, yet uses a materials pallet of local stone and black painted timber, both found in the local vernacular. This acts to bed the house successfully into the site and its context.

Lower floor plan of Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
Lower floor plan - click for larger image
Upper floor plan of Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
Upper floor plan - click for larger image
Entrance elevation of Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
Entrance elevation - click for larger image
North west elevation of Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
North-west elevation - click for larger image
Seaward elevation of Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
Seaward elevation - click for larger image
South east elevation of Coastal concrete house on a red sandstone base by ShedKM
South-east elevation - click for larger image
  • PTimble

    Why have a beautiful cantilever, if you are just going pile trash underneath?

    • Evelyn M

      I am assuming it’s being kept dry until they can put it to better use. Too much to remove for the photo shoot, which is what would normally be done. Similar to emptying all your kitchen counters of dishes, food prep items, papers, etc. before taking a photo.

      Don’t be so quick to “trash” everything. Our disposable society is causing enough problems with our planet.

    • 2Bob

      It’s called firewood, not trash!

  • lozza

    Finally a large home that doesn’t reek arrogance!

  • stutelf

    Fantastic and timeless. The furniture helps but there are parts of the house, such as the concrete edge of the roof that make the house look like it could have been there for 50 years or so.

  • http://www.mietystone.co.uk/ Miety Stone

    This stone became part of the material palette of the new house, as it provided a connection with the local geology.