Sitting in low meadows that roll down to the sea about half a mile away, this 400-year-old cottage has been sensitively repurposed for a family that enjoy the outdoors. The Cornish Cottage possesses an ancient vernacular that has its roots in a building that served both domestic and agricultural functions. The renovation of the house was conceived as a set of clearer defined spaces that act as routes through the property connecting the land to the sea.
A link was drawn between the house and the ancient boat building techniques that survive in the local area, displayed through the careful and visibly human crafted details throughout the building. The project’s main challenges lay in the building’s long linear form and a compartmented internal volume, the house being a sequence of numerous smaller rooms. Retaining the character of the building was a necessity, however, in many places the design sought to amplify the legibility of certain elements. There was a wish to create a theatricality through errant walls and floors, which would betray the houses long history and a specific relationship to the coastline. The motive was to speak of a rising and falling motion, swell and eddy, crest and comber.