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“Highmead” Morecombelake

March 28, 2024

By NDM Architects

A Sculptural Contemporary Home, Carved Into The Dorset AONB.

Designed by NDM Architects ( and Constructed by the award winning Northcott Building contractors (NBC) (, Highmead is a stunning high-end new build dwelling carved into the hillside in Morecombelake, Dorset. The dwellings form features contemporary angles with large expanses of glazing which help to capture the stunning views looking out over Golden Cap (the highest point on the southern coast of England) and distant views of the English Channel.

The existing property on the site was demolished, a large section of the hillside excavated, and the new dwelling built in its place. A further cut into the landscape then made space for a double garage at first floor level. Which provides easy level access to the first floor living quarters.

The stunning contemporary dwelling is an ‘upside down’ house with an open plan kitchen, living and dining space at first floor and most of the bedrooms at ground floor. The master suite is also located on the first floor, to help maximize the incredible views over the landscape.  Both the master suite and the living space have large balconies with glazed balustrade, providing elevated external space to soak in the Dorset AONB. In its elevated and exposed position, the dwelling not only helps to frame the stunning landscape in the spring and summer, but also provides a cosy retreat in the winter months where the wind and rain only add to the atmosphere inside.

The standout feature of the dwelling is the double height atrium in the centre of the building which gives views from the kitchen / dining / living area down onto the entertaining space which is designed with music in mind. The clients’ piano acts as the focal point of this space, making it perfect for small scale concerts and performances. This double height atrium is complimented by its floor to ceiling curtain glazing, which floods natural light into the dwellings centre. Another feature of the double height space is the sculptural spiral staircase, which is finished in a single plastered curve, it certainly makes walking up or down the stairs a unique experience. Highmead also has in indoor resistance pool, gym, infrared sauna, and cinema room, making it a truly high-end bespoke dwelling.

The glazing for the dwelling was supplied by ODC Glass and features an ultra slim frame sliding door system which helps to blur the line between outdoors and in. The black aluminium framed glazing is a striking contrast to the pure white render exterior finish, which helps to frame the interior spaces.

The simplicity of the external finish is also reflected in the internal finishes, with clean, crisp white painted walls throughout which are given warmth by the solid oak flooring.

The dwelling was designed with sustainability at the forefront. It is heated by an air source heat pump and has underfloor heating throughout. This combined with superior levels of insulation, an excellent level of air tightness, and a heat recovery unit (linked into the pool extraction system) makes for not only a beautiful home, but a highly efficient one.

Designing, and building, Highmead didn’t come without its challenges. Persuading the Local Planning Authority to allow a contemporary dwelling with substantial amounts of glazing in an exposed rural area was no mean feat. With narrow and incredibly steep access, coordinating deliveries of materials, especially the glazing, was a testament to the on-site team. The Teams at NBC and ODC Glass did well to manoeuvre the glazing into position in storm force high winds.

Having delivered exceptional design for over 10 years, NDM Architects pride themselves in providing high-end bespoke solutions which compliment both the client’s lifestyle and the surrounding landscape.

NDM Architects have a strong track record of delivering projects of all scales and budgets across the South West. Their team has a wealth of knowledge and experience across all project types, including bespoke rural & coastal homes, extensions & remodelling, barn conversions, works to listed buildings, commercial spaces, and community projects.

NDM Architects not only offer design services, but also have the facilities to see a project through from concept to completion. What sets them apart is their unique office setup, where they share space with planning consultants, land surveyors, and building contractors. The collaborative nature of the office not only streamlines the design process but also encourages cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing and innovation, helping clients to benefit from the seamless industry collaboration, resulting in bespoke and sustainable architectural solutions.

Drone footage Highmead can be found here:

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