Project Details

Brief: Refurbishment and extension
Location: Bigbury On Sea, Devon
We bought this house in 2016 and approached VESP architects because we wanted to extend the living room. The drawings for the new room were stunning. However, when the builders began work, they discovered wet rot throughout the house. Eventually, it was decided that the house would need to be demolished and rebuilt. VESP dealt with all the necessary paperwork, applied for the original planning permission, the permission to demolish the building, then the new planning permission. They kept us informed at every step of the way, and they redesigned the internal space of the house. We were extremely pleased with the way that VESP reimagined both the internal layout and the outside terracing. Work began on the house in October 2018 and was completed in October 2019. My husband passed away in April 2019, so never got to see the finished house. VESP and the wonderful builders (Kesterbrook) could not have been kinder – in fact, when I took over the house upon completion, the builders presented me with an oak plaque to remember Roy, which is now fixed to the external apex of the living room, which faces Burgh Island. I can highly recommend VESP architects, not only for the beautiful design of the house, but also for their attention to detail and monthly progress reports (which was an additional service). Everyone who has visited the house is blown away by the imaginative use of space and light. VESP have ensured that from the moment you enter the house, the views are spectacular. It is now a much loved family holiday home and we look forward to being able to use it again once pandemic restrictions are eased. SP

Bayview is a recently completed new-build house located on the cliff-top above Bigbury On Sea, in South Devon. It commands an outstanding vantage point with panoramic views across the whole bay, from Bantham right across to Burgh Island.

The client brief was to refurbish the existing property and extend it in order to maximise enjoyment of the coastal views. The design focused around two key spaces; a central dining area / sun-room overlooking Bantham that forms the heart of the home, and a generous living room at the western end of the house, with vaulted ceilings and views out over Bigbury and Burgh Island.

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Large areas of slim-line glazing in both these areas were key to providing the panoramic views out, and the improved connection with the garden. Ecohaus Internorm were brought in to provide both the high-end glazing system, and the replacement upvc/aluminium composite windows to the rest of the property.

The vaulted ceiling of the living room provides height and drama to the home, as a counterpoint to the flat ceilings of other rooms in the house. Kiln-dried Oak trusses, beautifully fabricated by a local company with stainless steel tie-rods, provide the structure and add visual interest and rhythm to the space. The expansive glazing brings huge amounts of light into the rooms; however to ensure the space does not overheat in the summer months, western red cedar brise soliel were located above to shade the spaces inside.

Early on in the construction period, it was unfortunately discovered that the existing house was significantly damaged by water-ingress and general poor construction, and the decision to completely demolish and rebuild the house was made. This entailed a brand-new planning application and revised set of construction information, but allowed for a new, well insulated and well constructed house.

Whilst the house has maintained a fairly traditional appearance, it is completely modern inside, with clean, bright spaces, contemporary kitchen and bathrooms, and LED lighting throughout. The old oil boiler was removed, and replaced with an Air-Source Heat Pump. This heats the house through underfloor heating, and combined with the high levels of insulation now within the floor, walls and roof, it creates a very energy efficient home.

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