The Door Co adds robust apertures to coastal home | Framing the view

The Door Co have come up with solutions to entirely seal and protect a home on Camber Sands beach, overcoming challenges posed by the environmental considerations of the site.

Perched on the beach, directly backing on to the natural sand dunes, the Sea Breeze holiday home takes advantage of its interrupted views, whilst remaining resilient to the weather conditions. For Rye-based studio RX Architects, the focus was on building an entirely sealed envelope, wrapping the façade in a pink-pigmented micro cement. This joyful colour references traditional Mediterranean beach houses, and forms part of the alluring character of the building which is punctuated by flush-fitted aluminium windows.

The site is unique in that it is one of only a handful of properties in the region which are only accessed by driving along the beach making the construction extremely challenging

The architects called on the expertise of The Door Co, who designed the windows to avoid creating ledges on which sand can build up and cause unwanted effects on the building. All efforts were focused on creating a robust holiday home to cope with the extreme local weather conditions, such as high winds, moving sand, and salt air. There are also no gutters or conventional details where sand and salt could cause weathering to the house. Instead, water is encouraged to run off the house into the sand where it naturally drains away. 

“Sea Breeze is a property that challenges on many levels; its resulting aesthetic is shaped and informed by its location and proximity to the sea, and the ability of the team who created it to think differently,” commented Ed Pryke of RX Architects. 

“The team at The Door Co were exemplary in both the design and build phases of the project. Their tireless enthusiasm to think and re-think solutions, their attention to detail, and perfection in production are clearly evident in the end result,” he added.

An open-plan living area is filled with natural daylight and enjoys easy access onto the beach via the sliding doors. The large and carefully positioned windows make the most of the outstanding views across the beach and English Channel to the south. Triple glazing is used to significantly reduce the external acoustic effects, which are an important consideration in the exposed environment. 

Structural glazing by The Door Co features a black anodised finish and stepped-edge glass with a bold ceramic border

The Sea Breeze house, which features three double bedrooms, two en suite bedrooms, and a family bathroom, is heated and passively cooled using two 90-metre-deep ground source heat pumps, along with a mechanical and heat recovery system (MVHR). Not only does this ensure the interior environment is kept at a comfortable temperature, but it also works alongside the thermal mass and energy efficiency of the building envelope.

Internally, a fumed oak cladding has been used to frame and emphasise the views out and to bring warmth to the interiors

There are endless moments of delight with the vistas across the sea, and a window seat in the master bedroom gives the owners the feeling of having their own private view. The aperture is perfectly angled to frame the sea – a view anyone would dream of waking up to! 

Terrazzo flooring is used with an aggregate mix resembling the shingle of the beach, creating the natural continuation from indoors to out and through the seamless sliding doors

Project details:

Architect: RX Architects

Contractor: Coast View Properties

Joinery: Chartwood Design

Doors and windows: The Door Co (Specification: Schuco AWS65 windows and Schuco ADS 65 doors)

Mechanical & Electrical: Baltic Heating

Kitchen: Portrait Kitchens

Lighting: Astro Lighting

Tiles: Mandarin Stone

Photography: Richard Chivers

View across Camber Sands beach in East Sussex, directly backing on to the natural sand dunes

Take a look at more bespoke windows, doors and structural glazing by The Door Co online.

Discover more residential architecture on enki.

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