Contemporary island getaway, with a frame of timber and steel, partially elevated on stilts to compensate for a sloping site. The north facade features 10 metres of column free glazing, giving views out to beautiful Wootton Creek.

2022 RIBA South Award
2020 British Homes Awards – Small House of the Year Award
2020 Build it Awards – Best Self Build

Fairhaven is a single-storey family retreat built on a sloping site that leads onto Wootton Creek. Eckersley O’Callaghan provided structural and civil engineering services for the project, which includes five bedrooms, a large open plan kitchen and living room, a swimming pool, and a boat house.

The topography varies considerably across the site, so half of the house has been elevated on slender external columns. Designed to reduce construction time and costs, the structural system consists of a primary steel frame that forms a raised ground floor ‘strong deck’, supporting a series of loadbearing timber stud walls. The ground floor and roof infill are all built with timber joists. Another level of steelwork was required on the largely glazed north facade to achieve 10 metres of column-free windows that give access to a level terrace and swimming pool.

EOC completed structural analysis and design of the steel and timber framing, and design and detailing of the connections. We also designed the boathouse, a simple loadbearing masonry and timber infill building, and the underground drainage system.

An absence of nearby public sewers and an inconclusive percolation test meant drainage had to be designed for discharge into the sea. A sewage treatment plant has been incorporated at the back of the property, ensuring a quality of effluent meeting the requirements of the local Environment Agency.

Isle of Wight

James O’Callaghan

Strom Architects