When considering the joy of creating a new seaside home there is a longer list than normal of issues to think over when composing a design. In creating a beach house, beach house architects have more to play with in terms of natural light and spectacular views. At the same time, consideration has to be given to more hard-wearing weathering of materials and how the house will cope with extreme weather conditions.
We have found that local authorities often allow more latitude for progressive and stimulating architectural design in coastal settings rather than rural or urban settings. There seems to be more ‘openness’ for more contemporary design, particularly in Sussex.
If you are considering building a beach house and are interested in talking to a beach house architect, please contact us
Pagham Beach House
The Beach House created at Pagham was originally designed as James’ holiday home. The site was purchased in 1999. The original house on the site was a dilapidated ‘lean to’ 1960s beach hut of poor construction with no heating.
The planning restrictions at the time were that the new home needed to be single storey. Pagham Beach is a mixed array of houses. They range from the original holiday homes converted from railway carriages through to the new more contemporary beachside dwellings often referencing a ‘New England’ style of architecture.
The concept for the new beach house is an abstract interpretation of a sun canopy to offer shade from the high Summer sun. The main room has two sets of folding glass doors which when both are opened offer views to the sea and to a private garden behind. This provides a magical, calm oasis. By contrast in the extreme coastal Winter storms the double-glazed glass and underfloor heating. This allows the main room to feel cosy and warm against the raw winter weather. In all seasons the main room which houses kitchen, dining, sitting room and small study are a perfect spot to view the walkers, dogs and life of Pagham Beach passing by.
James designed the house using the natural levels of the site. The road is the lowest point rising up to the beach side where the shingle is 1.5 metres above the road. On arrival at the house, the visitor walks through the site where the gate and front door are road level. Inside there are six steps up to the main room with panoramic views of the beach and sea beyond. The lounge area is stepped down to give the occupants a little more privacy from the public beach beyond.
The L-shaped house comfortably sleeps six. Arranged with one double bedroom with toplit en-suite shower room, one generously proportioned twin and a second twin comprising a purpose built bunk above a single bed below. All bedrooms have windows onto the small architectural garden with evergreen, hardy shrubs which are salt and drought tolerant.
Award Winning Home
The house is composed as a layered, rectilinear block containing the living spaces. The bathrooms and bedrooms take up a wing at right angles creating a simple L-shaped composition.
The main room is a sun-filled quadruple aspect flowing space comprising sitting room, dining room and beautifully fitted, stone clad kitchen. The dining table sits eight, while the dining space spills out onto sheltered decking terraces to garden and beach sides. A suspended open log fire is a central feature. This offers a welcoming focus on a dark, wet, Winter evening.
Pagham Beach House is a highly considered beach house. It works well for fun, family days by the sea enjoying crabbing, swimming and BBQs. For the evening, the sand, seaweed and crabs can be cleared away. Create a stylish moon-lit setting for al fresco Summer dining or a bowl of Winter-warming soup by the open fire. James Wells’ skills of carving space to fit a range of moods and settings in one day come to the fore with this award winning home.
James has since built a new, bigger family home in the South Downs National Park. The family have kept Pagham Beach House and now run it as a rental property. Anyone who’s interested in staying in this architectural gem please see, www.paghambeachhouse.co.uk
Get in touch
JWA is a dedicated team of architects working with James Wells. Based in West Sussex we design for new build homes, extensions, barn conversions and orchestrate plans for historically important listed buildings to work in the 21st Century. Our sister practice James Wells Commercial handles design for commercial projects including hotels, bars, restaurants and offices.
We handle projects with a construction value of £400K upwards.