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“Thatcher Avenue” Torquay

March 7, 2024

Thatcher Avenue, Torquay by Charles Blake Associates Architecture

Thatcher Avenue is a post-war development mix of bungalows and houses, as is much of Marine Drive. Many of the properties have stunning sea views of Tor Bay and Lyme Bay, some with direct views of Thatcher Rock. There has been much change to the properties with a number of the nearby bungalows suffering from the pull-and-push designs that historically have been encouraged by the Local Planning Authority.

Our brief was to add further accommodation in the form of a new floor level, and this can often be a challenge in a sensitive area such as this. It was clear from the outset that to achieve the maximum quantum of floor area, the design would need to be bold, and to break the mould of previous designs approved in the area. The property is one of a group of five almost identical bungalows, which further compounded the impact of the changes we would be proposing.

We chose to create a design with a stepped silhouette, in a ziggurat form, setting the exterior frame of new floor level in from the existing structure below. This served to reduce the mass and scale of the built form. The upper storey is clad with standing seam metal and vertical Millboard, again to break up the building into smaller visual elements.

All bedrooms at first floor level benefit from large, glazed areas and terraces, to capitalise on the wonderful 180-degree views. The floor levels are connected with a new double height stairwell, complete with a large flat rooflight to flood the interior with natural light.

We introduced high-quality stone cladding to some of the lower portions to ground them and better connect them to the surrounding landscape through use of a natural material.  A new garage was introduced forward of the principal elevation, and this enables the existing roof terrace to be enlarged, creating fantastic entertaining space on which to enjoy the vista.

We successfully convinced the Local Planning Department to support the proposals and thus a precedent has been set for this type of development in the locale. It wasn’t an easy task but ultimately, we succeeded through careful negotiation and belief in our design. The project is now in the technical design phase, and we are looking at modern methods of construction such as using a SIP system for the new floor level, as well as considering the future energy usage of the house.

We love these kinds of projects; working for the end-users and developing an understanding of what they want to achieve. With a bit of vision, you can achieve a great deal, even from a humble post-war property!

Our clients are very much looking forward to build phase starting, enabling them to realise their dream home. It won’t be too long before they are enjoying drinks on the terrace, enjoying the natural environment and watching the sun slip behind the distant landscape.

 Simon Blake, Director of Charles Blake Associates





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