A lakeside cabin in the Norfolk Broads - doesn’t that sound absolutely idyllic? Serene waterside sunbathing, breathtaking views and plenty of peace and quiet make it a popular destination, and not just for holiday makers. The designers of this wonderful property worked through a number of issues to replace a run down bungalow with a beautiful family home.
While this contemporary house could seem out of step with the more traditional designs of its neighbours, it manages to exist seamlessly with the lakeside landscape. The property looks quite at home in such a calm setting, and its design will let residents enjoy it to the fullest.
Designers Platform 5 Architects faced a number of challenges when they approached the project. The land that the house was built on is unstable, while the peninsula location is prone to flooding. To compensate, the foundations were embedded 10m deep into the chalk rock layer and the ground floor was left elevated to account for the changing water level. The property itself required a galvanised steel grillage as a foundation, making up for the ground but also forcing the designers to discard concrete as a building material.
Unfortunately, the problems did not end there. Though the house’s location is beautiful, it is also remote, accessible only via a narrow access road. Because of this, as well as the structural issues, the architects were forced to build using lightweight materials, which were transported to the building sight in nothing but a transit van!
Despite the issues that came with the location of the house, the finished result looks magnificent. The humble timber cladding of the property fits in well with the natural beauty of the setting. To increase this effect over time, the front and rear shingles were intentionally left untreated, allowing them to slowly develop a rustic and weathered look.
The lakeside property’s pitched roof was intended to reflect the look of a typical Norfolk Broad boat shed. Its black timber shingles were a strong choice, though what we really like about the roof is its overhanging eaves, which create plenty of outdoor living space for residents to enjoy.
The inside of the property is flooded with natural light thanks to the many windows, almost every one of which offers a carefully chosen framed view of the surrounding landscape. With bare white walls and soft timber throughout, the interior positively glows in the light. The property’s three bedrooms are spaced out over two floors, connected to the entrance with a narrow winding staircase.
A huge bay window dominates the property’s double height living space. Combined with the large steel wood-burning fireplace, this instantly conjures images of relaxing on a warm evening, watching the sun go down over the lake. Sliding timber doors lead into a generously sized kitchen and dining area, which features a door that lets you step right onto the decking and down towards the wooden dock.
Practice Director for Platform 5 Architects Patrick Mitchell plans to use the property as a family home, though you’ll be happy to know that it will also be offered for holiday rentals!
Stephen heads the team for marketing, media and research at Plentific. He loves sharing insight and advice for the home services market. He has a keen interest in property renovations after successfully completing a number of property projects.