The landscape of Great Britain is spectacularly diverse and we are lucky to boast some incredible natural beauty. When London based Tonkin Liu Architects was asked to design a house on the white cliffs of Dover, it faced the challenge of how the building would integrate with its beautiful surroundings.
Tonkin Liu’s client had a great appreciation for the area, having grown up there. They commissioned a modern house that would respond well to the natural landscape, and even suggested that the design could reflect the local Celtic heritage.
As beautiful as the white cliffs of Dover may be, they presented a serious problem for the architects. A clifftop house will inevitably be exposed to the elements all year round, from blistering summer sun to icy cold coastal storms. In other words, proper temperature control would have to be a key feature of the design.
The solution for this problem was threefold: firstly, to maximise energy efficiency as much as possible, the property was sealed and insulated. Next, heat recovery and solar thermal renewable systems were installed to ensure toasty warm winters. Finally, to help keep things cool during summer, the designers also added eco-vents and a long gallery skylight.
Still, how does this pay tribute to the location? The design and structure of the house come into play here: The curving shape of the property itself emulates the cliffs, while the slanted ‘green roof’ of the property provides shelter for local wildlife. This also helps the property to blend into the clifftop greenery and it is hoped that, over time, the property will merge into the landscape.
While the interior of the house may seem plain, its airy minimalist approach helps to emphasise the natural beauty and colours of the surroundings. Each room is orientated to a different aspect of the landscape, from the English Channel to the cliffs of Ness Point, from which the house takes its name.
From the generously sized main living area, the lucky homeowner can enjoy their incredible coastal clifftop view in comfort.
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.