Le Portelet Beach House, Guernsey Property Development, Channel Islands Architecture
Le Portelet Beach House, Guernsey
Refurbished Family Home in Channel Islands – design by Jamie Falla Architecture
1 Oct 2014
Guernsey Beach Residence
Location: Guernsey, UK
Design: Jamie Falla Architecture
Beach House in Guernsey
Replacing a dilapidated 1950’s brick built bungalow, Le Portelet is a reinterpretation of a beach house providing a 3-bedroom family home, which sits within the wooded escarpment overlooking Portelet Harbour. The project was conceived as three timber blocks nestled into the hillside allowing views of the surrounding landscape from all principle rooms, and privacy from the semi-public road, which runs along the back of the site.
Our client saw the opportunity which this unique site offered, overlooking one of the most picturesque working beaches on Guernsey, and came to Jamie Falla to provide them with a new 3 bedroom family home. The sensitivity of the site and prominent position above a popular local beach resulted in a long period of pre-planning consultation with interested parties and the local planning department. Although much criticised at the time, as nobody really likes “change” in this particular parish of the island, the building has won plaudits from many of its initial critics. It is a building, which now sits peacefully in its wooded landscape and one, which we hope will form part of Guernsey’s future heritage.
The design of the building was adjusted and refined to protect the many mature tree roots on site. It has been orientated to take full advantage of its aspect and the stunning sea views, whilst also providing privacy from the road. The palette of sweet chestnut cladding in varying widths is reminiscent of the local fisherman storage boxes and allows the property to blend with the beach setting and mediate between water, earth and sky.
The superstructure of the building was constructed from Eurban laminated timber panels and sits on a concrete base with piled foundations. The Eurban system was chosen for its sustainable credentials and also the speed and accuracy it would bring to the build.
Portelet was on site for 12 months and was successfully completed on time and just marginally over budget. The groundwork’s were carried out by a specialist local contractor and then handed over to a main contractor for the remainder of the build. Many local craftsmen & specialist sub-contractors were involved in the project and the quality they have brought to the building is evident throughout.
Jamie Falla designed the interior areas, specialist joinery and bespoke fitted furniture, which have become an important part of the journey through the property. On entering the building one is drawn to the framed view of the horizon at the end of the top lit corridor, down a set of polished concrete steps and into the light filled grandiose living space where large areas of glazing take advantage of the spectacular views to the surrounding landscape.
Portelet is a distinctive addition to the island of Guernsey; it has fulfilled the client brief, responded to its context, and is a truly unique family beach house.
Inclusive Design Statement
Portelet complies with The British Approved Document Part M the dwelling exceeded the local building regulations, setting new standards for Guernsey. As part of our quality assurance policy in the practice, the house was designed to meet all criteria of the Lifetime Homes Standard.
Since the dwelling is a private house, provision was made for the future of the occupants, by locating key spaces on the ground floor. Wide doorways were designed as standard. Circulation spaces were naturally lit where possible, or integrated with in the living spaces to provide enjoyable, easily navigable routes through the house. Long term strategies and configurations for the house were considered throughout the design process to accommodate the new family, and the older extended family.
Le Portelet Beach House – Building Information
Location – Guernsey
Architect – Jamie Falla Architecture
Client – Private
Commencement 2005 – Completion 2011
Contract Value – £1.2M
Materials – Crosslam timber panel system with coppice sweet chestnut cladding and glass.
Photo Credit – Richard Brine
[more images available – online soon]
Le Portelet Beach House information / images from Jamie Falla Architecture
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Channel Islands Architecture
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photograph © AW
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picture © Nick Weall
Comments / photos for the Le Portelet Beach House – Contemporary Channel Islands Property page welcome
Jamie Falla Architecture