By Jeremy Bradley RIBA B. Arch (Hons), Director, CAD Architects
Many of us dream of building our very own luxury home in a spectacular setting.
In 2016, estate agents Tepilo published a study of 2,000 UK homeowners which found that 43% dream of having a custom-built property, with a setting on the coast being the most popular choice of location.
People who are in the privileged position of being able to proceed with a project like this will have spent many hours picturing the style and layout of their perfect luxury home and may have developed very firm ideas of the home design that they want. Some may think of working directly with the builder to bring their plans to life. However, using a specialist in residential architecture can bring a whole new dimension to your dream project.
A good architect will use their skills and experience to help you get the full potential from your project by showing you many options and ideas that you may not have considered. They can help you make the most of the available space you have to work with. They can show you fresh ideas on how to configure the rooms so that the new house design meets your needs – now and in the future. They can make sure that your home really ‘works’ as a day to day living space. They can bring in modern home design features which can add character and style, without necessarily adding substantially to the cost. And they can incorporate the latest innovations in building materials and eco-friendly home design, to help reduce the ongoing running costs for your new home.
All this can add great value to your property, both as a place to live and as an investment for the future.
At CAD Architects, we have worked on many luxury properties by the sea. People from all over the country are drawn to the incredible unspoilt beauty of the Cornish coast, and there is a superb range of locations available where you can enjoy peace and tranquillity and feel close to nature.
As locally-based specialists in residential architecture, we have unrivalled experience of designing modern, luxury homes in Cornwall in a way that makes the very best use of their coastal setting. We know how to use the most appropriate local building materials and designs, so that we create a contemporary home that is full of character while also working in harmony with the local environment.
A classic example of new house design was the four-bedroom home that we created called Ocean Point, at Porthtowan on the spectacular North Cornwall coast. The Atlantic coast of North Cornwall stretches for over sixty miles from Bude to Portreath. The landscape is wildly beautiful, dotted with golden bays and charming fishing villages.
Building plots can be hard to find in this glorious unspoilt location and Ocean Point was created on the previous site of a two-bedroom bungalow. When we first met the client, they had plans to extend their existing bungalow. We felt that this would have led to far too many compromises.
We were able to convince the client to take a much imaginative approach. Why not demolish the existing building and build something completely modern that is exactly how you want it? You can customise your home design, get exactly the right room layouts, have a more energy efficient house and you can recover the VAT. This was a vital ‘added value’ element that we brought to their plans – and one that the client hadn’t previously considered.
Although the site was in an excellent, elevated position only a few hundred metres from the sea, it was located at the rear of three other rows of houses, which partially obscured the views.
The key to the success of this new house design was the way in which the layout was configured, to make the most of the views and the natural light. We reversed the normal arrangement of the floors so that the bedrooms were on the ground level and the living areas were situated upstairs. This had huge benefits:
- It meant that the first-floor central area had stunning twin aspect views to St Agnes Beacon in the north east across to Porthtowan Beach in the south west.
- We were able to maximise the living space by creating a vaulted ceiling fitted with eight large skylight windows which flooded the area with natural light. This has given the whole property a light and airy atmosphere, with a great sense of space.
Inspired by the potential created by opening up this glorious view, we also incorporated a glass-fronted terrace, which is sheltered by a gable which flows naturally as part of the roof structure. So, the owners now have a unique, elevated outdoor space looking directly over the sea, which also feels intimate and private.
Additional modern features that we created included a corner window in the master bedroom which opened up a gorgeous view of the beach and a pop-out portrait window which provided a stylish and practical feature to the first floor.
All this new house design innovation has made living at Ocean Point a really magical experience for the owners. There are many properties situated at Porthtowan – but there is only one with the unique character of Ocean Point!
This is one of the key qualities that you should look for in your architect; the ability to see the bigger picture and to put forward imaginative plans you may not have thought of – ideas that exploit the full potential that modern residential architecture offers.
At Home Magazine ran a special feature on building your dream home, where they highlighted the role of the architect very well:
“There’s a good reason it takes seven years to qualify. Architects have to possess both creative flair and technical know-how to make your dreams a reality. Whatever plans you have, architects can play an important part.”
When you work with an expert in residential architecture, you may well discover that the creative flair and inspiration that they can bring to your new house design is one of the most exciting parts of the whole experience.