Planned for construction in 2015, this exciting project is situated in a secluded cove in Saint Margaret's Bay. The clients came to Solterre with some beg challenges including; a site with no access to drinkable well water and a desire to meet the German 'Passive House' energy standard with the ability to be net zero. Passive house requires a 70-80% reduction in building energy over conventional construction making the worlds leading building energy efficiency program.
As is often the case, the challenges became the strongest elements of the design. Meeting the demanding energy efficiency targets of Passive House calls for simple compact building forms and the lack of a well meant collecting rain water. This led to a dynamic butterfly roof which terminates at a water collection point at a central breezeway. The breezeway provides a sheltered arrival and frames a first glimpse of the dramatic coastal views. A central scupper brings rainwater down in the centre of the breezeway, passing through a reflecting pool on its way to a storage cistern.
A large sliding screen slides across the south, ocean facing elevation providing shelter from winds in the breezeway and operable shading for the large south windows.
The simple horizontal building forms and banding of the siding evoke the the strong horizon line of the ocean and the long sloping roof lines rise up to the coastline in a careful elegant gesture.
As with all Solterre projects, several different designs were proposed, ensuring the client is an integral part of a collaborative design process. Sketches and renderings as well as line drawing are used to help clients understand design intent and visualize spaces.