• "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

    - Benjamin Franklin

  • "Climate change is the biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be even bigger is our movement to stop it"

    - Bill McKibben

  • "If you really think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money"

    - Dr. Guy McPherson

  • "Most of us are aware that scientists say climate change is underway, but even if we accept it as true we act as if it had no implications"

    - Prof Naomi Oreskes

  • "The Earth was much warmer than today in the early Cenozoic period. It was so warm that there were no ice sheets on the planet and sea level was about 75 meters higher"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "The human-made rate of change of atmospheric Co2 is ten thousand times larger than the natural rate that drove the climate changes of the past"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "If we could catch one five thousandth part of the energy that the sun sprays onto this globe every day we would meet all of the energy requirements of humanity"

    - Sir David Attenborough, 2015

  • "I'd put money on the sun and solar energy, what a source of power. I hope we wont have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that"

    - Thomas Edison, 1931

  • "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek"

    - Barak Obama

  • "The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening and we are entering a period of consequences"

    - Al Gore, 2006

  • "We shall need a new way of thinking if humanity is to survive"

    - Albert Einstein, 1954

  • "Admit nothing into your home that is neither useful nor beautiful."

    - William Morris

  • "Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth."

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in lowly places that all disdain. That is why it is so near to Tao"

    - Lao Tzu

  • "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art"

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "The truth of a vessel lies not in that of which it is made; it lies in the space contained within"

    - Lao Tze

  • "Study Nature, Love Nature, stay close to Nature. It will never fail you."

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "That which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of the night"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; yet it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? And dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vinyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these fully satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains?’ Nature remains"

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity."

    - Wolfgang von Goethe

Kingbridge Beach House

Devon, UK


About This Project

This is a statement sent to the Planners with preliminary sketches..

These are outline sketches only, based upon limited information available at this time. More detailed proposals would follow a full site survey. These sketches are intended to convey the idea and some of its architectural qualities in very outline form. Further development in consultation with Planning Officers would follow a favourable general response.

The site is small, awkwardly shaped and steep. However it has unparalleled views of the estuary and a South aspect/prospect.  Such seaside sites are rare. The prevailing architectural language of the area is of individually designed detached dwellings, each with a different character. There are residences nearby on similarly small and awkwardly-shaped plots – see the site location plan.

The opportunity exists to build a small dwelling – we call it a ‘beach house’ – on the site. It would not really be suitable as a site for a large family dwelling because of the lack of amenity space and restricted car parking. A beach house would be used periodically but not continuously – usually at high summer and at weekends.

The sketches show a new structure to contain –

  • a carport for one car, on-site parking for another.
  • a lounge
  • three or four Bedrooms and ancillary bathrooms.
  • a Kitchen and Dining area.
  • a Lounge

In view of the orientation of the site – facing virtually South – the opportunity exists to use a solar passive design strategy to gift this project most of the energy it would need for heating. A solar passive strategy involves facing the sun with a solar collecting wall of glazing, shading that glazed wall from excessive high summer sun with some form of solar shading device, insulating the solar wall at night to keep in the solar-generated heat at night, superinsulating so that the solar-derived heat isn’t wasted, providing various means of natural cross ventilation to cool the property naturally, and building with materials of high thermal mass INSIDE in order to store heat, and also to help cool. All of this is possible on this site.

The intention is to construct an exciting and beautifully made structure – one that is patently a seaside dwelling. See the conclusion.

The house is shaped by the site and contains two distinct elements:

A bedroom block: a heavy stone element which relates closely to the architecture of the adjoining sea wall. It is to be made of the same stone with the same coursing and jointing. Openings are to be relatively small so that the wall dominates. The sea wall continues under the living  areas of the house – see sketches.

The main living areas: largely glazed, which are bold modern elements perching upon and cantilevering out from the sea wall elements.

My client advises that they own the land to the mean high water mark – well beyond the actual confines of the site.

The house has a flat roof in order to accommodate the irregular shape of the site more easily than a pitched roof. It is also nominally flat to reduce the potential for obstructing estuary views from the road and dwellings behind.

The highest part of the house would be no 

higher than the main roof ridge of the adjoining residence.

In terms of architectural content a modern structure would be most appropriate in view of the shape of the site.  The stone base would relate to the sea wall as set out previously and ‘anchor’ the proposal to the locale whilst supporting a modern ship-like superstructural element containing the living areas of the house. This is a rare opportunity for an exciting modern domestic structure in Kingsbridge.

These sketches are intended as prefatory to a discussion of the Planning issues that would attend a possible formal proposal along the lines proposed.