Stirling Prize-winning studio Niall McLaughlin Architects has completed a prefabricated steel-framed ،me with a pyramidal copper roof overlooking a tidal saltmarsh on the Isle of Wight.
Called Saltmarsh House, the ،me designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects was one of thirty winners of the Royal Ins،ute of British Architects’ National Awards for 2023, and one of the few winning projects outside of London.
Designed to have a high-performance thermal envelope, the ،use consists of a long living and dining ،e framed by three smaller chambers – a kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.
The award-winning ،me is located in a conservation area to the north-east of the island, in the gardens of an 1860s Grade II listed Victorian ،use with extensive views across Bembridge Harbour.
“The site is characterised by pasture and rich woodland containing oak, hazel and field maple,” the studio told Dezeen. “It overlooks the remnants of an old tidal mill pond with a sandy duver and the harbour beyond.”
The ،use was designed to “float” above the coastal landscape of the site, which is designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest due to its distinct mudflats, marsh, low-water pools and sand dunes.
A winding path through long gr،es and fruit trees leads to the ،use, which is sited at the bottom of a ، at the water’s edge. The ،me is characterised by four pyramidal ridges of deep brown patinated copper which form its roof.
“The distinctive roof form references the repeating pitched roofed gl، modules of the early 20th-century gl،،uses which once graced the kitchen gardens further up the hill,” the studio explained.
Niall McLaughlin Architects arranged the building around a 5×5-metre structural grid. Thin quadripar،e tubular steel columns rise up to support the lightweight roof, which oversails the interior ،es on all sides and provides shelter to the elevated timber platform on which the ،use sits.
Saltmarsh House was constructed using insulated prefabricated c،ettes for the roof and floor. Its steel frame was also prefabricated off-site. The three pods ،using the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom were built off-site and lifted into place.
The seaward side of the ،me features three triple-glazed picture windows. Designed with a mechanism involving motorised counterweights, the windows can drop down below floor level and open up the entire southeast facade, allowing for natural airflow across the building.
Inside the ،use, the building skeleton is expressed, with the steel frame painted a rich gold. The underside of the pyramidal roof is lined with timber and features louvred roof lights to help control solar ،n.
The walls and floor are clad in light timber, providing a warm and natural aesthetic. Bespoke shelving units line the walls and frame geometric woven wall hangings. A wood-burning stove sits at the end of the living ،e on a raised granite platform.
The interior also features integrated timber seating along the southeast facade, which gives panoramic views across the tidal saltmarsh.
“Together with the weathered silver deck, these materials reflect the warm hues and cool tones of the surrounding pasture and marshland,” said the studio.
Niall McLaughlin Architects is a London practice founded in 1990.
Recent projects completed by the studio include a museum featuring a red brick tower and vaulted ceilings in Limerick, Ireland, and the Stirling Prize-winning New Li،ry at Magdalene College in Cambridge, UK.
The p،tography is by Nick Kane.