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.

UK Property Awards 2017
The American Architecture Prize 2017
International Design Awards 2017 – Silver

Ground Engineering Awards 2018 – Shortlisted
Structural Awards 2017 – Shortlisted
Wood Awards 2017 – Shortlisted
The Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2017 – Shortlisted

The owners of a house sitting in an active landslip zone on the clifftops of Lyme Regis were looking to extend the property. However, during the planning process, and following unprecedented rainfall in the winter of 2014, there was subsidence close to the building and the decision was made to replace it entirely.

Eckersley O’Callaghan engineered a structural solution for the new home 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 re-levelled.

Utilising reinforced concrete piles and grillage of ground beams, the foundations allow the building to sit lightly on the landscape while 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. This also provides framing for the sliding doors to give dramatic views over the clifftops and the sea beyond.

Dorset, UK


AR Design Studio

Martin Gardner | Eckersley O’Callaghan