Project: Island Rest
Architects: Ström Architects
Structural Engineer: Eckersley O’Callaghan
Sustainability Consultant: Mesh Energy
Lighting Designer: Spiers and Major
Cost Consultant: APS Associates
Construction Manager: Rice Projects
Location: Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Project size: 185 m2
Completion date 2019
Photo Credits: Nick Hufton, Al Crow / Hufton+Crow
Courtesy of Ström Architects
Island Rest is our response to our client’s brief for a contemporary family holiday home. Situated on a beautiful Isle of Wight creek, Island Rest sits on a spacious site with direct access to the water and views of the Solent beyond.
Our clients wanted a special space to escape to that would bring the family together, with a focus on nature; in particular access to the Solent with all associated water activities.
Our design is a low in profile, simple single-storey rectilinear form containing the main living and dining area with a bedroom ‘wing’ leading off it. The master suite is the exception – this has been kept separate from the other bedrooms and is situated at the other end of the living area with access to the deck outside. Every room in the house has been situated to maximise the views to the north, but the living areas also look out onto the south-facing courtyard, allowing sunshine deep into the plan. This creates a dramatic impact as you look through the house to the gardens and water beyond, and inside a sense of light and space.
Given the waterside location of this project, we needed to carefully respond to the typology of the site, with particular reference to flooding. To address the flood risk, the floor level has been raised to perch on the highest point of the site – which is outside of the future flood risk zone – and the house spans out on a single level as the terrain slopes away, leaving the bedroom wing ‘floating’ over the landscape below.
Landscaping was a consideration from the outset and has a very natural and organic feel, with mowed paths through wildflowers leading to and defining areas of different function and interest.
What building methods were used?
The house is a combined timber and steel frame. By pre-cambering the steel above the sliding doors, a large column free span was achieved with a very slender beam.
What are the sustainability features?
We worked with a sustainability consultant to achieve a sustainable build. High levels of insulation and an airtight envelope, reduced that heating needs. The house and pool are heated by Air Source Heat Pumps, and photovoltaics panels are placed on the roof. The roof is also used for rainwater harvesting.
Key products used:
The house is clad in larch cladding which is stained black. The minimally framed windows are from Reynaers.
What does the clients say about the house?
“In the case of our house, I felt you [Strom Architects] clearly understood what we needed, converted that in to a beautiful space that works well for us and capitalises on the main asset of the site – the views and aspect. The spaces are well judged resulting in an efficiency that I think perfectly meets the needs of a modern family without being unnecessarily excessive. This judgement results in a sustainable solution that doesn’t use more than is needed to meet the function. I also think it has a clarity in the language of materials used. Wood was used throughout, but expressed very differently on the inside and outside creating a sharp contrast adding to the richness of the design. In addition to the geometry and scale of the house, the success of the cladding relief and colour really ensures the building sits in its surroundings in a perfectly balanced way; this is a comment that is echoed unanimously among the neighbours. The decision to allow the land to flow under the house accommodating the natural slope in the site again, adds to the clarity of the form ensuring its simplicity is powerful in the elevations. Above all, we find it a joy to be in, and ultimately the success of any architecture has to be judged on those that experience it.”