From the bustling streets of London to the pebbled coast of Brighton, the south east of England is home to some particularly awe-inspiring self build projects.
Whether your tastes lean towards more traditional brick, stone or oak frame buildings, or your ideal dream home takes the form of a contemporary beach house, these stunning projects will leave you brimming with ideas.
Nestled in the corner of a triangular plot in suburban Surrey, this contemporary home designed by SOUP Architects went on to win the RIBA South East Award in 2014.
Externally, the first floor has been clad in western red cedar, and appears to float above the subtle grey rendered ground floor. A spacious balcony and a cantilevered first floor above the main entrance on the front elevation, reduce the visual mass of this 319m² house.
The remarkable design of Chris and Becky Taee’s new home on the Hampshire/Sussex border is the result of Chris’ brief to ‘be bold’.
The architects, Birds Portchmouth Russum, came up with a three-part house built using cross-laminated timber (CLT), with the central feature a stunning curved vaulted dining hall. It’s hard to believe the site used to be home to a small Victorian cottage!
This new Cape Cod-style home in Sussex, designed and managed by its owner, is a true reflection of the spirit of self build. Taking just seven months to build, this beautiful project was inspired by Richard and Jane Gane’s many American holidays.
It boasts many of the quintessential features associated with Cape Cod homes — including sprocketed eaves detailing providing ample coverage for a veranda, and well-proportioned dormer windows. Maintenance-free fibre cement board cladding from James Hardie completes the look.
Despite the space limitations the plot posed on this corner site in London, which adjoins a Victorian terraced street, the Adam Glabay and Shauna O’Handley have created a striking self build which packs wow factor.
The contemporary cedar clad structure with a wildflower sedum roof boasts a curved, sculptural design. The untreated cedar will fade and silver, mellowing with age to suit the plot. It lacks visible windows on the road facing elevations, favouring use of folding sliding doors and large windows in the open plan spaces facing their garden.
Nestled within woodland in the south east of England, just 22 miles from Brighton, Graham and Giulietta’s H-shaped oak framed house measures an impressive 540m² and boasts a large two-storey porch and a massive arch-braced trussed roof.
Designed by architect Jeremy Rawlings, the impressive traditional-style self build sits on a 16-acre plot and features grand living accommodation, five bedrooms and a basement complete with home cinema and gym. A double-height bay window and galleried landing add to the sense of wow factor. The oak frame was by Oakwrights.
Replacing an ordinary beachside bungalow, Catherine and Adas Nicholson’s stunning new home blends in with the beach landscape thanks to the timber cladding and stone gabion walls below. “The pebbles resemble the beach, the glass reflects the sea, and the timber is like driftwood,” says Adas.
ABIR Architects were tasked with designing a contemporary new home befitting of the beachside location. Insulated concrete formwork (ICF) was used to construct the house, and the interiors adopt an upside down floorplan, with the first floor being given over to a large open plan living space which makes the most of the dramatic ocean views.
James and Claudia Gray’s brilliant new timber frame farmhouse in north Essex is a fitting addition to its site which was formerly used as a Second World War airbase.
The design is formed of two linear elements (one a single-storey ‘public’ space with living rooms and kitchen, the other a one-and-a-half storey ‘family’ space with bedrooms) linked by two walkways, forming a central courtyard that provides a safe area for the children on this busy working farm.
Todd Cooper and Giuseppe Sironi’s Modernist-style self build in West Sussex, cuts a striking shape along the nature reserve beach and features a pleasing mix of contrasting cladding materials. “The house has two very different faces: the glazed side overlooking the water, and the front — which has small slot windows and appears to be made up from different boxes stacked together,” says Todd.
Built around the original 1970s beach house, the couple have created a dramatic five-bed home complete with grand entrance hall and feature staircase, open plan living on the first floor, and an outdoor swimming pool to enjoy the coastal views.
Christian Bonard’s new larch-clad, steel frame home – which replaces a dilapidated bungalow – is a welcome addition to its wooded site in Surrey. Designed by architect Simon Skeffington of Architecturall, the new self build replaces a run-down bungalow and has been clad in larch which will eventually weather to a silver grey. It features a sedum roof too.
The project was constructed from steel frame with Porotherm clay building blocks, providing a quick build time. The house was also built to a tight budget of £250,000 without compromising on high-quality materials and finishes. The project was a finalist in the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) Awards in 2015.
Looking to downsize from their first self-build project, George and Alexa Ergatoudis have built what appears from the outside to be a traditional home within a conservation area in Surrey — the inside however has been designed in the style of a chic New York loft.
Externally, the self build house has been constructed with brick walls, a slate roof and sash-style windows framed with stone-effect surrounds. Internally, the home boasts a stunning double-height void above the kitchen space, a mix of open plan spaces and cosy rooms to retreat to, a grand master suite on the third floor and plenty of exposed brick for an industrial style.
Rising up from a former derelict, rubbish-laden site in south east London, this impressive new home from Edgley Design brings together mid-century modern design and raw materials, all built around a century-old pear tree — the concept of which meant the building had to be divided in two halves, with a glazed walkway connecting each element.
Concrete walls, cast in situ within timber formwork, dominate the ground level, while timber cladding above allows the house to nestle among the surrounding trees. Slim gold trims help break up the mass of the building and frame the large glazed panels.
Liz and Jonathan Toomer enlisted the help of Gavin Sargent from WCEC Architecture to design them a contemporary home with traditional forms built with locally sourced ‘aged’ bricks and handmade tiles on their huge farm site in the south east of England.
The beautiful new house steps down along the site’s gradient which creates many levels and space inside the house, but keeps the overall height low from the outside. The finished product is a modern Sussex-style farmhouse that meets all the needs of modern family living, complete with the luxuries of a dressing room to the master suite, grand living spaces and an outdoor swimming pool.