After living in London for 20 years, minus a short stint in Brighton, and with a couple of renovation projects under his belt, Stephen Yeomans was keen to sink his teeth into his first self build. The resulting home is a head turner — wrapped in vibrant cor-ten steel, it sits between chalky cliffs and the River Ouse, boasting views over a nature reserve and marking the gateway into the beautiful town of Lewes.
The rather remarkable site was previously home to a derelict timber shed-like structure, which had once been used as a social club for the local cement works in the 1950s before being left to rot. After speaking with several architects, Stephen enlisted Sandy Rendel to create a design for a new home on the plot.
- Project: Self build
- Location: Lewes, East Sussex
- Land cost: £400,000
- Build cost: £850,000
- Current value of property: £1.7m
After being encouraged by the planners to come up with a bold design, Stephen and architect Sandy took the opportunity to take a stronger approach with the exterior. Being built on the river wall, roughcast concrete has been used for the ground floor of this self build project, with grey ash-glazed bricks (which can be found within the town) on the road-facing façade.
The roof and first floor walls have then been built using structural insulated panels (SIPs) and wrapped in an expanded cor-ten steel mesh which acts as a rainscreen while allowing water to filter through to the gutters hidden beneath the metal sheets.
Inside, the ground floor features a predominately open plan layout, with a home office, utility and storage, leading off. The first floor comprises two large en suite bedrooms which bookend the upper level accommodation, with three smaller interconnecting bedrooms in between. These smaller spaces offer flexible living down the line for children’s bedrooms and a playroom between.
Bitten by the building bug, Stephen has now turned his attention to converting a Georgian office in Lewes into a six-bed home, with this house currently for sale through The Modern House: themodernhouse.com/sales-list/lewes and Lewes Estates: lewesestates.co.uk