Nord offers shingle life
Nord has completed the second house in Alain de Botton’s holiday home initiative, Living Architecture, on the beach in Dungeness, Kent.
Sited two doors down from the late film director Derek Jarman’s famous cottage, the Shingle House replaces a former fisherman’s house and smokery, to whose footprint and envelope the architects had to adhere.
“It is conceived as three separate buildings,” says project architect Mark Bell. “Different houses for the rituals of living, cooking and bathing.”
The three forms follow the volumes of the former house, smokery and garage, but sport a hierarchy of exaggerated roof pitches. They are connected by glazed openings and a white concrete spine that runs from the kitchen sideboard, along the floor of the hall, rising up to form a chimney, hearth and staircase in the open plan living room. Purpleheart flooring lines the kitchen and living space, extending out on to a screened west-facing terrace.
The cabin-like interior is finished in bright white-oiled vertical timber boarding, whose dimensions shift subtly according to orientation, with brass fittings referencing both the nautical and railway themes of the area – in which many houses are built from old train carriages.
Furniture is a carefully selected palette of early modernist pieces, including lighting by Jean Prouvé and Alvar Aalto, and some reclaimed seating, lovingly reupholstered. The downstairs bathroom houses a black cast concrete bath and sink, with access on to a smaller screened terrace.
The exterior is clad in the local vernacular of black-stained cedar shingles across the north-south walls and gables, while the east-west facades are clad in vertical boarding.