New Concept Design : SINK HOLE CABIN

The location for this guesthouse is a stunning landscape with panoramic views of a sound dotted with small islands and glimpses of a beautiful arcing bay. The ground is undulating with scaevola, dry shrub, cactus and mini silver palms pitted against a limestone terrain with sink holes. There is beauty in the azure blue of the water and in the rawness of the rocky ground. Our immediate thought was to tread lightly here. Any construction must try to leave the ground untouched where possible whilst providing space in which to enjoy the setting and optimise the views. The concept of a delicate cabin sitting above the terrain is enticing, yet the negatives of timber construction in the saline environment and the prospect of hurricanes lead us to think differently, whilst trying to attain the qualities of a cabin ‘held aloft’. 

We have proposed a concept of a ‘cradle’ of stone walls that hold a lighter structure within. The walls could be the only thing bearing on the ground with the slabs spanning between them. This structural solution is in some way like the sink-holes that delicately cradle loose plant-matter inthe crevices of the site. The roof appears to float above the stone walls and is slightly depressed in a ‘butterfly-roof’ formation to enhance the experience of the interiors opening-up toward the panoramic views. The same strategy is applied to the plan - with the ‘pinch’ at the centre of the east-facing facade amplifying the experience of entering and then being drawn to the landscape views. This solution was also adopted to reduce the apparent size of the building by it receding in scale at the middle from a number of key views.

 

Project Completion : FIVE ACRE BARN HOTEL

 

Five Acre Barn Bed & Breakfast nears completion! Located near to the Suffolk coast and the seaside towns of Aldeburgh and Thorpness, this project has been a labour of love for our clients Bruce and David who did much of the construction work themselves. The results reveal an unloved barn converted into a stunning piece of contemporary architecture, set into a mature garden landscape. Blee Halligan were commissioned to design the contemporary wing

to house five lofty rooms with mezzanine bed decks and double height living spaces. Entirely clad in cedar shingles, the new building sits comfortably in the garden landscape and will weather down to a silver-grey over time. Stainless steel gutters match the shingles to create a seamless object form with an undulating saw-tooth roof line. The historic barn has been converted to include a social living space, open plan kitchen and the owner's accommodation.

 

New project : SPLIT ROCK RETREAT

We have been appointed to develop designs for a stunning site on an undisclosed island in the British West Indies. The brief has been unusual and we are excited about designing something very unique for our clients. The house is situated on a steeply sloping, rocky terrain. You get a fundamental sense of connection to both the island's mountainous landscape and the undulatimg coral reefs that are close-by. Our initial designs have conceived of a villa nestled carefully into the rocky outcrops and local flora and fauna. A house that is low against the hillside and responsive and relaxed in the lay of the land. 

 

The geography and geological origins of the site will feel strongly present in the finished design. The low, sloping roofs - reflecting the hillside itself - are supported on horizontally banded stone walls that emulate the strata of the local rock. The mass of the building in the current design is broken into four wings that echo the split-rock formations along the shoreline of the site. This means that the visible bulk of the house is broken down into smaller fragments, further softening the form of the house against the hillside and giving the overall structure a modest scale, with the atmosphere of a cave-like retreat.