NORD Architecture has replaced a dilapidated home in Dungeness with this striking A-framed Shingle House in an exceptionally fragile area of Southeast England. Once a forgotten land fit for squatters, England's only desert has become a more popular place to settle as its extraordinary ecological and geological value has become better widely understood. But the shingle beach is very unstable, so the designers gave the renovation project a stout concrete footing and a timber frame that meshes well with the region's vernacular architecture.
Built on a 300mm thick concrete slab that was placed over the existing footprint in order to minimize site disturbance in the internationally-recognized nature reserve, the Shingle House chimney, hearth, stair, kitchen and bath area are all clad in timber shingles and vertical boards that are in turn covered with a protective black tar.
The chimney is the only concrete element visible from outside and is comprised of two main parts. One side acts as the flue for a wood-burning stove that keeps the home warm during violently-cold months, while the other side houses the soil vent and air discharge pipes. Far more energy efficient than the previous structure, the new and improved Shingle House does well to capture the essence of the barrier beaches of which it has become a part.