Red Bridge House, East Sussex




Architect: smerin architects
Client: private
Awards won: regional


The Brief & Procurement  –  The client sought a new 4 bedroom house set in a pastoral glade. The procurement was a conventional contract - however the contractor became in financial difficulty and the client self managed the completion of the house.

The Solution  - The house employs a dramatically cantilevered box aligned with the primary view over a small pond and brook to the south. The northern entrance facade has a largely closed Cor-ten elevation through which a Cor-ten footbridge signals the  entrance. The south elevation has an impressive double height timber faced and glazed loggia off the Living Level and defined by Stainless floor to roof ties accessed. Beneath this cantilevered form is a long internal swimming pool with fully glazed wall looking to the small brook beyond.

Critique  – This is a tour de force of structural gymnastics and non domestic ‘industrial ‘ materials to create a very unique and well appointed home. The house does little to deflect or defer to the pastoral glade in which it lies.

Judgement  – The Cor-ten façade and the triangular projecting bay (which provides attractive views to the garage glade ) is probably rather unnecessary and perhaps undermines the accomplished Cor-ten entrance footbridge. Equally the chamfered timber canopy above the triangular Cor-ten bay seems rather ineffectual for such a robust concept in form and materials. However these are very small reservations – it remains an extraordinary tour de force which reflects a compelling shared vision by both client and architect.

CONTRACTOR: client self-build

cost CONSULTANT: Ab associates

COST: £975,000

PHOTOGRAPHER: tim crocker