Split House

Alma-nac - Collaborative Architecture as Architects

Split House is a contemporary private house on a coastal hill top in Fairlight, Rother. The client, a couple well engaged with the local community, wanted to build a through-life house that would engage with the surrounding landscape, with a construction process that would draw from the local trades.


Informed by the brief for such a sustainable home that would celebrate its hilltop site, Split House is defined by orientating key internal spacestowards one of the series of outstanding surrounding views: a wildflower valley, the immediate coast, the neighbouring village of Pett and the headland of Dungeness.


In responding directly towards these views, and sheltering from the prevailing winds, the volume of the building is naturally fragmented. Theresulting form provides a clearly delineated public side, facing the adjacent houses and a wind protected private side, open to the wild flower meadow.


Timetable From winning the client led invited competition to submitting for planning approval took 6 months, with construction starting approximately one year later in June 2012. A stringent costing exercise was undertaken during this process, in an effort to reach the client's budgetary target while delivering a fixed area and provision schedule.


The building is a highly insulated steel super frame with timber infill set over a concrete pool base and slab, a method chosen as being the most efficient in dealing with the large cantilevered form. An external palette of slate, timber and render sits within a landscape framed with gabion walls.Through use of an un-lapped rainscreen cladding system, slate use was reduced by a third.


Through building form and specific material choices, including the slates and stainless steel clips set alongside deep timber-lined angled reveals, Split House creates an ongoing set of changing shadows and reflections throughout the day.


Extending this split geometry into the landscape, terminated bythe potting shed, creates a soft sense of enclosure, allowing forthe provision of a private garden without visually breaking from theneighbouring wildflower meadow. The internal junction of the twoforms split levelsprovides a protected snug.


Inclusive design/ through life construction:


Split House is designed as a future proofed house. Provisions such as an internal lift, wheel chair friendly circulation spaces, flush thresholds, showers with seating space and WCs with space for future grab rails all serve to ensure the house is accessible and useable by all.


Through life flexibility is hidden within the design. A section of the ground floor plan can be simply re-arranged to provide a small residence for a live in carer from the bedroom, bathroom and snug.

Split House

Cupa Pizarras as Manufacturers

Located near Pett in South Essex, this family home combines sustainability with an eye on the future. The house, which has an internal floor area of 400 square metres, was completed in 2014, after a construction period of 18 months. This private residence standing on a hilltop along the Sussex coastline was built to replace an old, undistinguished bungalow. The aim of Alma-nac architects was to create a building that makes the most of its enviable location in the natural environment, offering 360° views. The upper level of the Split House features CUPACLAD® 201 Vanguard, helping to prevent moisture in while enhancing the contemporary look of the house. The architects also underscored the desire to engage with the environment, and CUPACLAD® 201 Vanguard gives it an additional boost to fit into its surroundings.


“WE WANTED IT TO BE SOMETHING LIKE A SUNDIAL, SO THE CHANGES IN WEATHER AND THE MOVEMENT OF THE SUN CAN BE EXPRESSED ACROSS THE BUILDING. THE NATURAL SLATE CLADDING, WITH TINY STAINLESS STEEL CLIPS CATCHING THE LIGHT AT CERTAIN ANGLES, WAS THE PERFECT SOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE TIME OF DAY WITH SHADOWS.”


CASPAR RODGERS, ALMA-NAC ARCHITECTS

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Products used in this project
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ElementBrandProduct link
ManufacturersCupa PizarrasCUPACLAD® 201 Vanguard
ManufacturersAccoya
ManufacturersETEM
Product Spec Sheet
Manufacturers
by Accoya
Manufacturers
by ETEM
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