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The Shingle House replaces a dilapidated fisherman’s cottage at Dungeness in Kent. The cottage was known locally as The Smokery, since, like most of the fishing families in the area, the owner smoked and sold local fish from the site. On his retirement, the owner offered to sell the house and outbuildings to Living Architecture, presenting the team with an ideal opportunity to create a new house on the site, whilst respecting the historical significance of the area.
NORD proposed a house that reflects both the shape and scale of the previous house, maintaining the original footprint. They created three varying shaped pitched roofed buildings, linked by glass walkways, following the loose arrangement of the existing buildings. The black, cedar cut shingles are affixed to all surfaces in a north to south direction, whilst the east and west surfaces have vertical boarding. The house evokes memories and images of many small fishing communities around the British coast.
The site is set further back from the Dungeness Road than some of the other nearby houses. This helps date it as earlier than others that have been built nearer the ever receding shoreline. With no immediate neighbours, the house has been designed to take full advantage of all aspects and offer maximum flexibility for visitors who can either track the passage of the sun, or benefit from shade, or shelter from the wind.
Although there is a small garden area to the rear, there are few boundaries in Dungeness and the house sits surrounded by the shingle, deposited over hundreds of years to create this unique environment.