From afar, the dramatic black silhouette of this modern residence looks like a mountain range that has lifted up off the grassy plains of Suffolk, England to hover in the sky. Its upper volumes appear entirely disconnected from the earth for an effect that’s the opposite of ‘grounded,’ seeming to magnetically levitate above the surface rather than taking shelter within its solidity. Whereas most homes seem to savor that rootedness, ‘Dune House’ evades it, but not at the cost of interior coziness.
The architects sought a design that would fit in with the local architectural vernacular and customs while simultaneously presenting something brand new. The result achieves this goal with inflections of the firm’s Nordic roots, nestling within the dunes in a way that’s visually as light and airy as a cloud.
The pitch-black upper volumes clad in timber planks contain private spaces including four bedrooms, while the glassed-in concrete and aluminum lower floor opens the common spaces to the sunlight and beautiful panoramic views of the North Sea and adjacent meadows. Each room has its own private bathroom, including the master suite downstairs, and there’s also a small library and roof terrace.
Pale wood with a nautical Scandinavian feel adorns nearly every surface of each bedroom, while the lower floor is anchored by a central fireplace made of concrete, accented by a slatted timber ceiling inset with built-in lighting. The geometric shapes created within the interiors by the jagged roofline create a dynamic sense of movement, drawing the eye from the floor to the walls to the ceiling peaks.
“To get a planning permission it was important to relate to the existing, typical, British seaside strip of houses,” say the architects. “The roofscape, the bedroom floor, somehow plays with the formal presence of these buildings, and also brings into mind a romantic remembrance of holidays at bed-and-breakfasts while traveling through the UK.”