Michaelis Boyd Associates are shortlisted in the ID&A Awards 2014 for the Beach House Award with their project Praa Sands in Cornwall, UK.
Set back and hidden away on the edge of a Cornish cliff ‘Praa sands beach house’ sits quietly and unobtrusively; a homage to its beautiful natural surroundings.
With a desire to create a space that eschews the traditional stone construction that is vernacular to the area, Praa Sands Beach house is built with the environment in mind. A ground source heat pump and solar panels set in to the wild meadow grass roof show the architect’s concern and consideration for wider environmental issues, harnessing energy from the idyllic location and affirming the building’s relationship with the landscape.
Externally Praa Sands creates an elegant sculptural statement, but it is when you enter that the true beauty of the design is realised.The shell-like helix of the stairs opens up to a clear oculus, through which the moon shines, lighting and casting shadows on the white plastered walls. Every opening has been carefully positioned to allow light to permeate seamlessly between the spaces, creating an open landscape that echoes the shifting qualities of the environment throughout the day, and in different seasons.
At its heart Praa Sands Beach House is built around the sea, the surfer and its cliff side location. Every angle, curve and opening are designed with a deep love for the sea. Outside a large copper piped shower is the first stop for those returning from the water, and a warm ground floor wet room greets those fresh from the bracing waves. Large expanses of glazing open up the single ground floor living space, giving way to the rugged Southern Cornish coast and bringing the landscape in to the house. To the back huge cruciform windows allow light to wash through.
Photography by Forever Cornwall.