Pobble House, Dungeness

Project - Pobble House

Location - Dungeness, United Kingdom

Product Used - HW3606 Fendi

Designer - Guy Hollaway Architects

Located within the Dungeness Estate, the starkly beautiful, almost surreal headland which is both a national nature reserve and home to a nuclear power station, Pobble House’s distinctive exterior is testimony to it’s architect, Guy Hollaway, and the planning regulations.

Despite marked geographical preferences, Fendi from our Venture Plank range is a favourite worldwide. Here it’s been laid throughout a beautifully crafted home which was designed specifically to further Dungeness’s curious architectural legacy.

Pobble House takes its name from an old Kentish word for pebble and is located within the Dungeness Estate, a stark and open headland on the Kent and Sussex coast which is Europe’s largest expanse of shingle and Britain’s only desert. The area is home to a vast array of wildlife and plant species and is recognized as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a national nature reserve,  a conservation area and a Special Landscape Area. In stark contrast to the site’s natural beauty, it is dominated by Dungeness Nuclear Power Station and the two light houses which form prominent features in an otherwise flat landscape.Dungeness is home to a historically strong fishing community, who inhabit a number of small huts and buildings which are scattered along the shore amongst other abandoned huts. Not surprising, given the location’s cultural and natural significance, it is subject to many stipulations to regulate new development. 

For example, local planning policy dictates that any new building must replace an existing building and must be of a similar scale and proportion to that of the original. For this reason Pobble House is made up of three simple forms taken from the original dwelling. Its main section is clad in Siberian larch and forms the central living, kitchen and dining areas, with bedrooms and bathrooms connected along a corridor running the length of the home. 

A separate children’s bedroom module, located to the north, is connected by a glazed link and is clad in cement fibre board.Exterior materials were carefully chosen to reflect the surroundings. Larch cladding will weather silver over time, through persistent exposure to high wind and salty sea air. Core-ten will rust to form a bright red protective coating, taking its cue from the many exposed metal works that surround the site. In contrast to these natural materials, the separate bedroom module is clad in cement fibre board and will not weather. Additionally, the house is set on concrete pillars which elevate the building from the site and serves to minimise any impact on the existing natural shingle surface.

Inside, the home is organised along a linear corridor running the length of the building which is aligned perfectly with the nearby light  house. From here bedrooms and bathrooms maximise the building’s small footprint whilst at its southern most section a large open plan kitchen, dining and living area forms its heart. And inside it’s still all about the location. A combination of large format glazing and picture windows afford panoramic views over the spectacular site and nothing is allowed to distract the eye: the decor is notably simple, the bespoke kitchen and other items of furniture are discreet, and the Fendi floor echoes perfectly the complex yet subtle tones of the Dungeness shingle itself.

Pobble House has been shortlisted for a number of architectural awards, including the British Homes Award and AJ small projects.

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