FOUR HOUSES BY THE SEA
OEB architects gained consent for four houses in Whitstable across two neighbouring sites working with developer Arrant Land and the adjacent owner.
Angled walls and openings at both front and rear form a sensitive relationship with the surroundings, negotiating a complex set of overlooking and outlook issues while providing generosity of space and daylighting. The first floor projections supported on timber columns give shelter to front doors, and give long views down the road from the main bedrooms.
As part of a wider collaborative investigation into the possibilities of a seaside suburban typology by OEB and Arrant Land, the houses used the local vernacular materials of timber weatherboard, render and slate with a playful variety of application that acknowledges the diversity and inconsistency of the surrounding suburban context.
The houses are designed to allow a degree of internal customisation: A flexible layout option incorporates sliding partitions meeting a central column that allow the ground floor to be fully opened up, while the fixed wall option gives a more traditional separate entrance hall. On the first floor, accommodation can be configured to suit a variety of residents
During the course of the investigation the houses were each imagined as a different type of well-loved ice cream to explore how colour and texture might evolve over time in response to the taste of their occupants. The designs approved at planning retain some of the textural character of these studies, interpreted in a monochrome palette of materials including timber weatherboard, render, and slate