contemporary architectural design | island wall whitstable

Picture the scene; ambling along the sun-drenched Whitstable seafront, maybe after a fish and chip lunch, or one too many glasses of something chilled. You cut down off the beach to escape the heat, and find yourself on a residential street.

Island Wall House Pre RenovationAs you wander you might cast your eyes over the gardens bursting with flowers and the higgledy-piggledy lines of pretty houses. But as idyllic as it all may be, on that balmy afternoon as you stroll about feeling as though you belong, the views may not necessarily cause you to stop and stare. That’s probably because two years ago, you wouldn’t have.

It was just another house. It was more importantly a building needing some serious TLC. And it wasn’t just a case of pulling of the ivy, rendering the walls and repainting. It was a sad, dilapidated, rotting shell of its former self, in desperate need of a complete overhaul.

Island Wall Pre RefutrbishmentLike a dog wanting rehoming needs a good bath, a big bowl of kibble and some training, this property needed hard graft and backbreaking work to make it a refreshingly modern and different home to be proud of.

Now in 2014, following months of contemporary architectural design and thinking, the swan from the ugly cygnet, even if the grey-scale colour scheme is more fitting with the latter, is transformed into a cleaner, more contemporary swan.

Contemporary Architectural Design | The Process

After extensive cooperation with the Council and privately approved professionals, some serious enthusiasm and investment on behalf of the clients, we’ve got a job well done.

Initially the house was only two floors with a single garage, both extensively subdivided in order to create six or seven rooms per storey. We retained elements of the original external structure, but radically expanded the living space within. By making the ground floor open plan, and replacing some wall aspects with floor to ceiling glass panels we were able to construct a more light and breezy communal atmosphere, which can now also overflow outside through sliding or folding doors onto a raised garden terrace; easy access for when the British weather gets the better of our best al fresco dining intentions.

Island Wall Post RenovationThere was then opportunity to create some enclosed spaces, nooks and crannies if you will, without making the room feel cloistered or boxy: storage areas (because it’s always better to have somewhere to hide your clutter) and a built-in cinema room (because for all of the sensible aspects of the house, no one gets tired of going to the cinema, especially not when it’s hidden in your own home).

The first storey then redeveloped the pre-fab extension of the lower floor, and provided more and better facilities for the existing three bedrooms. Sensible, really, as having people to stay would always mean more ablution and vanity space being required.

Island Wall Post RefurbishmentThe roof space was rejuvenated from that-place-where-we-store-junk to an accessible master bedroom with balcony, dressing room and en suite; in short, adding a whole floor. Both levels now also bragged the luxury of breath-taking sea views, which is no bad thing. Besides the structural changes, the clients have also made every effort to use local, bespoke tradesmen wherever possible, so as to provide only the very best fixtures and fittings for their home, and to supplement the local economies that the house is now amongst.

And after all that? We’re still waiting for the grand reveal. Some landscaping, adjusting interiors, fitting surround sound systems, and probably installing some all singing-all dancing BBQ into the garden. But for now, we’ll have to eagerly await those photos. But in the meantime? It’s not too shabby an addition to the aesthetics of the road.


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