A trio of black-stained adjoining timber cabins has popped up on Britain’s only desert. Designed by London-based Rodić Davidson Architects, the gabled structures are interconnected to form North Vat, a two-story home for a couple. Located in the Dungeness headland in Kent, the handsome building joins the region’s growing number of architect-designed homes.
The decision to break the home up into a cluster of connected cabins was partly inspired by the local vernacular of fisherman huts, pitched roofs, and weather-beaten facades. In order to minimize impact on the landscape, the architects let the seemingly random locations of the existing buildings dictate the placement of the North Vat’s three cabins. The new buildings are clad in vertical strips of black-stained larch to echo the aesthetic of similar black timber structures found in Dungeness.
Glass-enclosed corridors link the three separate cabins together and offer the homeowners glimpses of the landscape as they move from room to room. The largest two-story cabin houses the main living space and master bedroom, while the smaller two cabins comprise a study and second bedroom. Large windows, skylights, and glazed corridors bring in natural light and frame views of the outdoors. In contrast to the dark facade, the interior features a lighter color palette and includes gray concrete tile floors, white walls, and untreated larch.
“Our piece celebrates the inherent beauty of simple, ‘elemental’ forms, and explores how these can create complex spaces and experiences within a cluster,” write the architects. “All architectural clutter is removed in favour of creating this almost abstract composition. At night, the black-clad building disappears and its presence is revealed by these frames of interior life.”
Images via Rodić Davidson Architects