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design for a sustainable future

< Saving Water
13.05.2010 12:45 Age: 4 yrs
Category: spaces

The Deckhouse


The refurbishment of existing buildings to satisfy modern environmental performance standards is one of the most pressing challenges in architecture and the built environment.  The brief for this project required the complete renovation of a 1960s deckhouse into a highly sustainable holiday home.  The client needed a robust solution that would withstand the marine environment and require only limited maintenance.

The Deckhouse is located within a development of similar properties designed by Gore, Gibberd and Saunders in 1965.  The original planning permission for the properties restricted their use to summer-time and weekend only occupation that was subsequently overturned so that they can now be used all year round.  The appearance of the properties and the estate has been strongly protected by the management company and the renovation proposals required approval by their board.

The building was stripped back to its timber and concrete encased steel frame.  Extensive repairs were undertaken to the concrete casings of the columns that support the deckhouse.  Floor, walls and roof were super-insulated and made air tight to a standard in excess of new-build regulations.  A bespoke interlocking aluminium cladding system was developed that replicated the appearance of the original system.  The deep soft wood facia at the top and bottom of the wall were replaced with composite sections to ensure a flat, crisp finish that would not distort.  The cantilevered balcony structural frame was replaced and extended by 300mm, along with the balustrade which was recreated in aluminium box sections to the original design.  The deck boards were replaced with black recycled plastic and wood flour decking in continuous 6 metre lengths.

High performance windows were specified with a black finish to recreate the appearance of the original black painted window frames.  Interstitial Venetian blinds within the double glazed units control unwanted solar gains.  The roof was recovered and a 2.1 kWp photovoltaic array and evacuated tube solar collector installed to provide renewable electricity and water heating with excess power exported to the grid.

The interior has been reordered to provide a second double bedroom by reducing the size of the bathroom, removing the bath and introducing a wet room shower.  The compact shower room is clad in black glass and incorporates low water use fittings.  A restricted palette of materials including grey resin floors, white walls, black window frames, stainless steel kitchen units and fittings, and black stained ash joinery create a calm monochrome interior.  Shadow gap detailing, full height door and window openings and extensive use of bespoke built-in furniture, inspired by yacht design make the compact 50 m2 two double bedroom layout feel spacious and light.  The refurbished Deckhouse creates a sustainable "staycation" solution providing carbon neutral holiday accommodation for over half of each year.

The project architects were BLACK Architecture www.black-architecture.com .