Architecture

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“BBC1 Wales” Home of The Year

June 25, 2024

ODC Door & Glass SystemsSuper-insulated doors and windows for cliff top home

Architect : Raum Architects

Featured by BBC1’s Wales Home of The Year and Grand Designs magazine, East Cliff is an architectural success story we’re proud to be part of. In 2019, our clients began the exciting journey of replacing an aging, poorly built post-war bungalow with a new build home. They had acquired a stunning cliff-top plot on the Gower Peninsula, adjacent to the coastal path and with views across the Bristol Channel.

Expertise and partnership essential to project’s success

The start of this project was to prove tougher than expected. Devastatingly, a powerful winter storm with over 100mph winds reduced newly laid blockwork to rubble. So when it came to specifying glazing for their dream reverse level house with a balcony facing the sea, they knew they needed systems robust enough to withstand extreme coastal conditions. ODC Glass had worked with Raum Architects on previous local projects; this expert partnership was the answer to their prayers.

Insulated doors and windows for exposed locations

The bifolding doors, sliding doors, opening and fixed widows for this cliff-top house are all designed to handle the high winds and driving rain to be expected on the west coast of Wales. A site survey and liaison with the architect team ensured the most appropriate specification for the site; the glazing design had to deliver the best weather protection and maximise the views.

ODC300 sliding doors are our best slimline all-rounder with exceptional weather performance, and here they are installed in the first floor open plan living area to maximise views. At ground level  ODC121 bifold doors offer easy access to the garden from the single story linked utility building. They have the most robust frames of any of our systems and so were the ideal specification for this location.

Throughout, ODC75Si windows, sealed and super-insulated for the most exposed aspects, ensure that every aspect of the home is snug, insulated and protected from the elements.  This includes a large fixed bay window for wrap-around views. Out on the balcony, the frameless glass balustrading offers essential wind protection and fall protection, whilst inside their invisible fixings preserve the panorama from the window seat.  It’s the perfect glazing package for this wonderful little house.

Bespoke colours for sliding doors and windows

All doors and windows for this project are finished in a matt Quartz Grey weather-resistant powder coating. RAL 7039 is a softer, lighter and warmer grey than our standard Anthracite Grey, offering contrast to the specified black handles and harmonising with the warmth of the building’s cedar cladding, natural stone and copper accents.

A dream job! Designer Helen Belton on Raum’s design rationale

“East Cliff is the most wonderful location, rugged cliffs and sea views but easy distance to Mumbles and the rest of Gower. The constraints of the narrow plot and high exposure level resulted in a design that provides a balance of dramatic airy spaces with phenomenal sea views to the front and sheltered, calm retreats to the rear. The staggered forms and scale allowed us to give the property a truly unique identity.

Calm warmth and contemporary feel

We made an instant connection with our East Cliff clients  and feel very privileged by the trust they installed in us to lead the design process. Their brief was modest, they wanted to connect with the views and have sociable, interactive living areas and well balanced bedrooms to allow visitors their own space. The material palette of linear bricks, steel, natural larch and ash runs throughout the interior and exterior spaces and provides a calm warmth and contemporary feel.

Bespoke glazing integral to its success

Given the predominant weather is to the front of the property, we layered the front elevation with sliding doors onto a cantilevered first floor terrace to provide an outside space directly from the main living room and shelter to the front door beneath. A glazing highlight is a five metre wide contemporary bay window with a glass-to-glass corner.

A four metre high single pane fixed window provides exquisite light into the dramatic stairwell and the vaulted first floor space. We were unsure this could be done in one piece but ODC made it happen!

Elsewhere in the house sliding doors connect a cosy single storey snug with a sheltered, cobbled courtyard which benefits from morning sun and the master bedroom tucked away from the weather in a vaulted form at the back to the garden.

The two bedrooms have large floor to ceiling windows that connect front and back, they are mostly fixed for maximum glass with a slim opening element for ventilation.

Working with ODC

Success in the detailing and installation of projects such as this only happens when people commit and engage. From the outset, the team at ODC responded promptly, asked the right questions, proposed solutions, challenged ideas and thoroughly delivered our vision. They will always be our go to window supplier because of the excellent service we and our clients receive.”

 

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