Situated on a beautiful Isle of Wight creek in the south of England, ‘Island Rest’ sits on a spacious site with direct access to the water and views of the Solent beyond.
Given the waterside location of this project, Strom Architects needed to carefully respond to the typology of the site, with particular reference to flooding.
To address the flood risk, the floor level has been raised to perch on the highest point of the site – which is outside of the future flood risk zone – and the house spans out on a single level as the terrain slopes away, leaving the bedroom wing ‘floating’ over the landscape below.
As the house also sits facing the creek, it can be seen from the water, and the incoming car ferry from the main land. As such, the architects wanted the house to sit quietly against the backdrop of trees, while feeling like it embraced the views when looking out.
They achieved this by designing a single storey, long and low, black house. As such it blends in against the backdrop of trees. Overhangs and the north orientation also minimises reflection on large glazed areas.
The clients wanted a special, contemporary space to escape to that would bring the family together, with a focus on nature; in particular access to the Solent with all associated water activities.
Strom Architects’ design is a low in profile, simple single-storey rectilinear form containing the main living and dining area with a bedroom ‘wing’ leading off it.
The master suite is the exception – this has been kept separate from the other bedrooms and is situated at the other end of the living area with access to the deck outside.
Every room in the house has been situated to maximise the views to the north, but the living areas also look out onto the south-facing courtyard, allowing sunshine deep into the plan.
This creates a dramatic impact as you look through the house to the gardens and water beyond, and inside a sense of light and space.
Family areas should have the ability to be cosy (log fire etc) so one can watch a movie and the spaces in which dinner can be enjoyed should be open and communicate with the kitchen as modern life prefers.
The clients wanted the rooms to be simple, clean, efficient and uncomplicated to encourage children to be outside enjoying the space. As such the bedrooms should be places to sleep only and not as places to stay.
Landscaping was a consideration from the outset and has a very natural and organic feel, with mowed paths through wildflowers leading to and defining areas of different function and interest.
The clients wanted the house to feel open and light, and to be simple to use and simple to maintain. It should be welcoming to others as they need to readily welcome families of four (or so) to stay with them for the weekends and holidays.