Date:21 Nov 2013

Idyllic South Downs Retreat

Location: South Downs Way, Near Alfriston

Work carried out: New build property

Project description:

This exceptional site just off the South Downs Way West of Alfriston in an AONB (now the National Park) had an unremarkable house on it which was demolished in favour of a new house and double garage. A design was generated which was to take advantage of the views to the Cuckmere to the South-East, low energy design principles, whilst respecting the pre-history and geology of the site with the use of natural, indigenous materials and building techniques, local craft skills and forms where possible. The interior is extremely flexible and the bigger living spaces link together via sliding doors.

Postscript: January 2020

After 27 years my clients have reluctantly decided to move on. I have added to the photos ones I have taken recently on a January day. Inevitably the garden could not be at its glorious best and the light a little subdued, but I think it was worth showing how a building and its setting can mature. The garden design planting is entirely that of my clients and is unique and beautiful. The interior looks pretty much as good now as it did when first built, but with more furniture and art personalising it.

This house pretty much embodies everything I have ever sought to do in Architecture. The clients were brave enough to give me the space to do that for them. Something very special happened here.

Contractor: Twine Building Co.