Le Petit Fort

Hudson Architects, Jersey, 2015

 

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The entrance is constructed from Jersey granite reclaimed from the site’s earlier buildings  

Joakim Boren     Download Original

  • The entrance is constructed from Jersey granite reclaimed from the site’s earlier buildings     
  • The house sits in a prominent location on the Jersey coastline    
  • Schüco and Velfac supplied the windows    
  • The pool terrace    
  • From the beach, the house appears as a low-set watchtower    
  • The  spiral staircase built from oak and Cor-ten steel    
  • The composition offers a lively series of contrasting profiles from different viewpoints    
  • The living spaces occupy the first floor    
  • The living spaces flow in a journey from the kitchen    
  • Cor-ten is the building’s most prominent cladding material    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor    
  • First floor    
  • Second floor    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • Sections CC and DD    
  • North elevation    
  • South elevation    
  • East elevation    
  • West elevation    
  • Stair detail    
  • Staircase detail plan    
  • Elevations detail    

Hudson Architects’ scheme is a fort-like home drawing on the history of Jersey’s fortifications.

The house sits in a prominent location on the Jersey coastline, but from the beach it is hard to see. It is heavily fortified and mainly sits beneath the site’s existing stone walls with just its roof and the taller ode to the Napoleonic Martello towers, which litter Jersey’s coastline, popping up beyond.

The family home is orientated on two axes that span out from the tower – a three-storey entrance block constructed from Jersey granite reclaimed from the site’s earlier buildings and the surrounding area. The pair of two-storey wings radiate out, creating a courtyard within the walls and forming a private garden space largely sheltered from the elements. Despite its fortified exterior, internally the house is very open. Each room has a view out on to the landscape, be it the beach to the west or the craggy hillside to the east. The children’s bedrooms are all located on the ground floor of one of the wings, while the other contains a den-like space and a sauna, which link to the outdoor pool in the sheltered terrace outside. The living spaces occupy the first floor above and are accessed from a feature spiral staircase built from oak and Cor-ten steel and capped with a glazed circular rooflight that floods the space below with light. The living spaces flow from the kitchen, stepping down and creating a false perspective that focuses the eye towards the view and another raised terrace.

The house’s joinery is a stand-out feature, created by a local craftsman. Built-in oak cupboards hide televisions behind sliding doors while purpose-built shelving units hold the clutter of family life. Full-height doors in the corridors can be clipped back, and allow areas of the house to be separated, future-proofing it as the children grow up. These elements of craftsmanship are equally matched by the cast-concrete elements of the kitchen and bathrooms.

A further storey in the tower adds a guest room and a study. Curved walls hide a staircase, an escape route required by Building Regulations.

The upper levels are clad externally in Cor-ten. This steel is broken up with timber cladding, which the large expanses of glass slide behind when the house is opened up to the elements. Beneath all this is the smooth polished concrete finish of the ground floor. This concrete is deceptive – resembling heavy cast in-situ walls but actually being just a thin covering to a block wall behind.

Data

  • Begun: Jan 2014
  • Completed: Dec 2015
  • Floor area: 472m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate Form of Contract 2009 and traditional tendering process
  • Address: St Ouen, Jersey, JE3, United Kingdom

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