A great and surprising news today.
The Chichester Harbour Conservancy is going to use Cement House in their new guide as a good example of a sensitive contemporary development for this protected area. They consider that the matt grey corrugated cement sheets integrates the house successfully in the landscape.
What is surprising is their turnaround. When we were getting pre-planning advice, they were unsupportive of the industrial quality of the material. To simplify the Planning Process we eventually used Permitted Development Rights to avoid a protracted Planning Process and use this cladding legally.
We are delighted that the completed building has convinced them of our aim.
We decided on this material not only for the natural quality of its mat grey texture but also for its capacity to gain a beautiful patina with age. In such seaside environments, lichen slowly grows on it to create a lively texture exactly as it does on a slate roof. The other reason for the choice is that - against all pre-conception - it is warm and soft to touch, a little like weathered wood.
The cladding of this house has created mixed reactions. The younger generations love it; some call it - positively - the "Whaling Station". A few of the older generations have nicknamed it "the Nissen hut" after the prefab steel structure used during WW2. The client is delighted by the result; you can read her interview in last Saturday's Guardian Weekend Magazine article.
Another good news, the magazine Architecture Today will be running an article about this project and its cladding in its coming February issue.