A FAMILY AFFAIR

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A FAMILY AFFAIR Powered By Docstoc
					a family affair
When Glyn and Jane Martin’s daughter annie qualified
as an architect, her first commission was to design a Devon
holiday home for her family. the result: a light, modern house
with jaw-dropping views and two proud parents
                             WorDs Cathy Strongman PhotoGraPhs Chris Tubbs
     coast HOMES




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tHIs PaGE, cLocKWIsE FRoM aBoVE The bespoke kitchen was designed by Annie’s college friends. The cabinets are made from weathered oak and the
work surfaces are granite; three first-floor balconies with panoramic views are accessed through a sliding glass door; Jane at work in another seating
area tucked in a corner off the kitchen oPPosItE Annie likes buildings that ‘float’, so there are numerous overhangs built into the design




S
           itting on their first-floor terrace, gin and tonic in hand,        always spent holidays camping in nearby East Prawle. When they
           Glyn and Jane Martin take in the view. a vast expanse              heard that a house on the site was up for sale, they couldn’t resist
           of the English channel stretches out before them,                  buying it. ‘We got carried away at the auction,’ Jane says. ‘It was a
           while, to the east, ancient field patterns dating back             teeny 1930s timber house and we hadn’t even seen inside. When
to 2,000Bc decorate the slope of a valley, which leads down                   we finally did, we realised that it needed a lot of work.’
to a secluded beach and the sea. there is no other building in                  the couple and their children, annie, Will and Jo, subsequently
sight. ‘the isolation is wonderful,’ Glyn says. ‘We’re not far from           spent their holidays in the bungalow. ‘We had some amazing
salcombe, but it feels like we’re miles away from everything.’                parties,’ Jane says. ‘In the year of the eclipse, we had 150 people
their home is an unashamedly modern building, designed by their               camping in our field.’ Gradually they upgraded the house, adding
daughter annie, with crisp lines, dramatic overhangs and swathes              a new kitchen and a third bedroom. ‘annie was involved in
of glass. It is a building that, while taking every chance to exploit         building work from a young age. I think that’s why she became
the view, respectfully sits within its surroundings. It observes rather       an architect,’ Glyn says. after qualifying four years ago, annie
than dominates this stretch of the Devonshire coast.                          moved back to Devon to work for local architect stan Bolt. the
   originally from Brighton, Glyn, a painter, and Jane, an English            family then decided it was time to grace the site with a new home.
teacher, have owned a property on the site since 1987. they have                after a year of negotiation with the planning officer and the
lived for 31 years in a cob farmhouse in mid-Devon, but have                  National trust (being in an aoNB and surrounded by National




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           tHIs PaGE, cLocKWIsE FRoM aBoVE The untreated cedar cladding has already started to turn a silvery grey. Hardwood has been used for the window and
           door frames; the family use the outdoor seating area for meals as much as they can; hidden behind a bookcase door, the movie room has a top-of-the-
           range projector and a gigantic screen oPPosItE The downstairs area is one big space but has a sliding door to separate the living room and kitchen




           trust land, it was a contentious site), the building work started           the family pitches in
           in May 2006 and the house was finished in July 2008. ‘We gave               the new house truly has been a labour of love. annie and Mark,
           annie carte blanche to design the house,’ Glyn says. ‘she knows             her carpenter partner who built the timber partition walls and much
           the site so well, she could really make the most of it. she also            of the joinery, lived on site for 18 months. the project was largely
           had a good idea of what we needed.’ the first crucial decision              self-build, with all the family pitching in and specialist contractors
           was to move the house back into the hillside, embedding the                 brought in when required. Glyn did a phenomenal amount of the
           solid masonry walls of the ground floor into the bank behind.               work, too, including painstakingly constructing the walls that wrap
              ‘In the original house, the cherry tree almost climbed through           around the house out of stones excavated from the site. Jane
           the window. By pulling the house back, it has opened up the                 took a year off work and got stuck into basic tasks, such as
           garden and made sense of the space,’ Jane says. on top of                   painting bitumen on the steel and stuffing insulation into the walls.
           this base, annie designed a steel-framed, cedar-clad first floor               ‘throughout it all, annie stayed one step ahead of us, drawing
           with generous amounts of south-facing glass. approaching                    all the details and making sure that everyone knew what needed
           the house from the north, it appears as a single storey with                to be done,’ Glyn says. as an architect, annie found it a learning
           an adjacent grass-roofed garage disappearing into the hillside.             experience. ‘there were things, such as putting in a joist, I’d never
           the sloping zinc roof allows the house to open at the front,                done before,’ she says. ‘Keeping within the £300,000 budget,
           fully embracing the sea views.                                              while also using high-quality materials, was a real challenge, too.’




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Glyn anD Jane’s shore thinGs
Where do you go to stop         Any handy shops nearby?            Where do you go walking?
and stare? Jane: ‘Deckler’s     Jane: ‘We’re lucky because, at     Glyn: ‘There are circular or
Cliff, on the opposite side     the top of the track leading to    linear routes in either direction
of the valley. We go up there   our house, a lady called Jane      near here. It’s nice to walk
each wedding anniversary        grows and sells fruit, veg,        the coastal path to East
and pop a Champagne cork.’      salad, flowers, fresh eggs and     Portlemouth and get the
Have you got a favourite        chutneys. Frogmore Bakery          ferry across to Salcombe.’
local? Glyn: ‘The Pigs Nose     also has a good deli.’ Frogmore,   Jane: ‘You can stop at The
Inn. The owner used to be in    Kingsbridge (01548 531236).        Venus Café (venuscompany.
the music industry and gets     Have you discovered a secret       co.uk), which is right on the
some amazing bands. The         beach? Jane: ‘Seacombe Sands,      beach and serves delicious
Good, The Bad & The Queen       just below the house, is never     local and organic food.’
played their first-ever gig     busy. Annie’s friends go there     Favourite waste of time?
there.’ East Prawle,            to fish for sea bass. Once, when   Jane: ‘Looking at the stars:
Kingsbridge (01548 511209,      Annie was swimming, she            they are amazing here because
pigsnoseinn.co.uk).             came face to face with a seal.’    there’s so little light pollution.’




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           annie’s toP FiVe Materials
            For builDinG by the sea
           1 ZINC ROOFING ‘An              3 HARDWOOD WINDOW              makes the glass even
           excellent material to use       AND DOOR FRAMES                tougher. It’s worth investing
           by the sea because it picks     ‘Whereas softwood is           in the highest quality to
           up all the colours from the     very porous and needs to       help insulate the house
           sky, including those in the     be constantly repainted,       and control solar gain. You
           sunset. It’s also hardwearing   hardwood is much tougher       can buy self-cleaning glass,
           and 100 per cent recyclable.’   and needs staining very        too, but it’s very expensive.’
           2 CEDAR CLADDING ‘We            occasionally.’                 5 GRASS ROOFS ‘Putting
           chose cedar partly to reflect   4 GLASS ‘We’ve installed       on a turf roof is a clever way
           the old building, which         double-glazed, low-            to lower the visual impact
           was timber clad. It is a        emissivity (low-E) windows     of the building, especially
           sturdy species that needs       with a laminated internal      in coastal locations. We
           no treatment or staining        panel – this reduces the UV    built a grass roof on the
           and, as it ages, it goes a      rays so the oak floors don’t   garage and seeded it with
           beautiful silvery grey.’        get washed out and it also     wild flowers.’




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tHIs PaGE, cLocKWIsE FRoM aBoVE The rooms have glass walls, sheltered and ideal forof the spectacular views out to Mull BELoW LEFt Amanda area
tHIs PIctURE The oak-framed, open-plan large outdoor terrace is which make the most sunbathing; the first-floor corridor/sun room is yet another
brings in logs for the woodburning stove. The pink coastal views; Habitatass walls, which make the most and provide an attractive contrast with the
in the house for sitting and taking in the impressiveblanket is from the old garden walls have been retainedof the spectacular views out to Mull BELoW
modern architecture of the house oPPosItE The timber walkway takes you to the first-floor entrance




a sociable, green house                                                      rainy days, and a barbecue and thriving vegetable garden have
Now complete, the building is testament to all their hard work.              been built into the terrace at the side.
Entering at the first-floor level across a theatrical timber walkway,            ‘It’s been designed as a sociable house and there’s a spot for
you’re struck by the amount of daylight streaming in from the                every occasion,’ annie says. It is also a very green house: very
south. there are three bedrooms on this floor, two of which have             little waste was removed from the site; the design maximises
private balconies and en suites, while a generous corridor/sun               solar gain in the winter; the overhanging roof shades the glazing
room leads through sliding glass doors onto the first-floor terrace.         in summer; the walls, floors and ceilings are stuffed with
Downstairs is one open space, although the kitchen/dining area               insulation; a ground-source heat pump (installed by Glyn) powers
can be divided off from the sitting room with a large sliding door.          the underfloor heating; and an air heat exchanger provides
a home cinema, which Jo and Will both asked for as they work in              filtered warm or cool air throughout the building. ‘Now it’s always
film, is concealed behind an opening bookshelf. ‘I designed it like          a lovely temperature and the air is fresh,’ Jane says. the Martins
that as a homage to the old house, which had a bedroom that                  have decided to share their house by offering it as a holiday let.
you reached through a Narnia-like cupboard,’ annie says.                     ‘When we can’t use it, we hope others will,’ Glyn says.
   sliding doors lead from the living area and the kitchen onto an           To rent the house, visit seacombe-devon.co.uk or call 01647 24474.
expansive terrace, erasing the divide between outside and in. the                 For more coastal homes and interiors, visit
overhang of the first-floor terrace provides a sheltered area for            allaboutyou.com/homes




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