The Crow's Nest

A bold, yet pragmatic solution for a new holiday home within an active landslip zone after the original building had experienced irreparable damage through repeated, severe ground movement.

Images:  Martin Gardner,  Eckersley O'Callaghan


Dorset, UK



AR Design Studio





UK Property Awards 2017-2018 

The American Architecture Prize 2017

Structural Awards, Structures in Extreme Conditions category – Shortlisted


Set in an active landslip zone on the cliff tops of Lyme Regis sits a private residential building where the client was looking to extend their holiday home. During the planning process, and following the unprecedented rainfall during the winter of 2014, there was subsidence close to the house and the decision was made to replace it entirely.

The requirement changed to a completely new home where we engineered a structural solution to prevent future failure. A concrete foundation was cast into the ground with a series of strategically placed dwarf walls built on top of it. A structural steel frame was then laid on top of the walls to act as an adjustable raft in case of future movement. Beneath the frame, there are specific places for mechanical jacks to be positioned so that the house can be securely releveled.

Utilising reinforced concrete piles and grillage of ground beams, the foundations allow the building to sit lightly on the landscape whilst offering the necessary support in the event of movement due to landslip activity.

The lightweight timber frame superstructure is supported off the steelwork. Isolated steel elements exist in the superstructure to help create large open plan spaces and asymmetric roof profiles as well as framing for the sliding doors to create a dramatic view over the cliff tops and sea beyond.

The Crow's Nest




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