Seabank Cottage

The complete refurbishment of a deteriorating flint-walled cottage facing over the Norfolk saltmarshes toward the North Sea. Designed with an expectation of rising sea levels over the coming decades, the ground floor has been rebuilt using robust materials intended to survive the periodic ingress of water. The upstairs has been transformed into a bright, open living area with views out to the sky and the sea.

Winner of the 2011 CPRE Norfolk Award. The Campaign To Preserve Rural England annually recognises the contribution of a small number of projects which “protect and enhance the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the English countryside”.

“The composition is analogously a boat on a rock. It might be described as ‘bucolic brutalism’ – architecture that is both robust and pleasurable. The language of austerity is employed humanely and delivered with wit. The scheme is a model of architectural and environmental adaptation to the severity of the natural forces that this site – indeed all global coastlines – might face in the future.”

Architecture Today

“The shapes, the spaces, the good Norfolk light… make it airy, calm and welcoming. But living in it, sleeping, cooking, chilling, entertaining, one realises the sheer thoughtfulness of the design and the meticulous attention to detail, proportions, materials, the flow from one space to another, even the good jokes… make the cottage not just the perfect place to be but also a work of art.”


Photography by David Grandorge