Ström Architects‘ “The Quest” is a replacement dwelling in Swanage, UK. The site is heavily wooded and enjoys a beautiful southerly aspect with a view over the Durlston Country Park. Early on, the architects established the advantages of a single-storey building; it would suit the retired clients’ future needs, give an elegant solution to the steeply sloped site and allow a simple arrangement of spaces. At the same time, the design reduces the visual impact from across the valley when looking back towards the house and helped the scheme from a planning point of view.
The sloping site – with protected mature trees – very much dictated the positioning of the dwelling. Access is via the front of the property, so Ström Architects made use of a retaining wall, faced in local Purbeck stone, to define different levels and visually mask the vehicular route, maintaining a clear view from the living spaces across the valley.
The single-storey house cantilevers over the retaining wall to deal with the level changes and views. The large cantilever has been achieved through two concrete planes: the floor and roof acting together like a space beam. The concrete structure is then in-filled with simple timber dry-lining, leaving the concrete frame visible externally.
Design and info © Ström Architects
Images © Martin Gardner