When Catherine and Adas bought their beachside bungalow, they had planned to renovate the property and convert the loft space to make the most of the sea views. However, a self build soon became the perfect solution for creating their dream ‘forever’ home.

ABIR Architects were tasked with designing a contemporary new home befitting of the beachside location. A large first floor living area was also a priority for the young family.

The 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.

Insulated concrete formwork (ICF) was used to construct the house. The couple chose to invest in the fabric of the building with a view to creating a low-maintenance home with low energy bills.

The end result is a fantastic new home. “I still get a thrill when I walk upstairs to this view. It’s different every day; it’s the backdrop of our family life,” concludes Catherine.

Project Notes

  • Project: Contemporary self build
  • Location: West Sussex
  • Build time: Jun 2014 – May 2015
  • Size: 211m²
  • Plot cost: £450,000
  • Build cost: £320,000
  • Value: Around £1.5million
Portrait-of-Catherine-Nicholson-in-her-new-home

Rear Elevation

Stone gabion walls and timber cladding help this new home to blend into the landscape. Huge areas of glass were a key element of the design. The windows are from IQ Glass.

Rear-elevation-of-contemporary-self-build
Close-up-of-the-glazing-on-the-rear-elevation

The Terrace

The terrace is positioned to receive the best of the sunlight, but is also sheltered from the wind.

Main-open-plan-living-area
Nicholson-exterior-terrace
Sea-view-from-the-terrace

Open Plan Living Area

An important part of Catherine and Adas’ brief to architect Giles Ings at ABIR Architects was a large open plan living/dining/kitchen area to make the most of the sea views.

Views-through-minimal-glazing           Sea-view-from-dining-room-windows

View-across-open-plan-living-area

Stunning-views-from-living-room-across-beach

The Kitchen

Birch-faced ply is an inexpensive material used throughout the interiors of this new home — including the kitchen units and the staircase.

birch-ply-kitchen-with-picture-window-and-rooflight-providing-natural-light
Close-up-of-the-kitchen-and-adjacent-staircase

The Family Bathroom

A large rooflight brings natural light into the ground floor family bathroom. A dyed and polished screed provides an inexpensive, water-resistant finish to the bathroom floor and walls.

Family-bathroom

Bedrooms

The windows to the ground floor bedrooms have been positioned to capture the sea views.

Child's-bedroom

Our Sponsors