Salty Cabin

Cowper Griffith Architects LLP, Kings Lynn, 2017


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Salty Cabin 

Cowper Griffith Architects LLP     Download Original

  • Salty Cabin    
  • View of Salty Cabin at dusk    
  • View of from the south across the grassland site    
  • Front facade and external decking space    
  • Raised decking beneath canopy    
  • Siberian larch cladding detail to window surround    
  • A seated view by the fire    
  • View across the grassland    
  • Horizontal slot window    
  • Internal joinery, timber structural frame    
  • The cabin at night    
  • The cabin and external raised deck at night    
  • Floor Plan    
  • North East Elevation    
  • South East Elevation    
  • South West Elevation    
  • Typical Building Section    
  • Detail Section through Front Facade    

A lightweight rural cabin providing new studio retreat space, situated within a protected grassland site on the North Norfolk coast.

A dynamic coast, comprising fragile habitats of coastal salt marsh, reedbeds, and flood-plain grazing marsh, and a strong sense of tranquility outside the tourist season is the setting and inspiration for a private space for retreat and contemplation.

The site is located beside the river Hun at the edge of an SSSI, along an unmade track to a national nature reserve on the North Norfolk coast. The work involved the restoration of the half-hectare site to native grassland, and the replacement of an existing dilapidated holiday chalet made from a 1950s concrete sectional building.

Strict planning policy constraints meant the new retreat was limited to the location and size of the original chalet. The character of the surrounding landscape, and a desire to minimise the impact on the biodiversity helped inform the transparent and lightweight ‘cabin’ appearance.

The new retreat comprises a modest living space, bunk and shower room, that are lifted above the flood plain. The dynamic plan form is generated by aligning the southwest wall with the diagonal line of poplar trees to make the most of the space available between the existing trees.

The large expanse of glazing on the south side, shaded by the cantilevered canopy, makes the most of the view over the river and SSSI. While distinctive timber louvres wrap the building on two sides to give the appearance of lightness and transparency and also provide privacy from the track to window openings and the timber deck.

Work on site was kept to a minimum as required by ecological constraints. The timber panel structure and structural steel elements were all fabricated off-site.

Materials are deliberately limited to a palette of Siberian Larch, natural finish aluminium profiled roof sheeting, and galvanised/ stainless steel structural elements. All assembled in a simple contemporary composition.


  • Completed: Sep 2017
  • Floor area: 37m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £157,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Address: Salty End, Broadwater Road, Holme-next-the-Sea, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, United Kingdom

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