Baxall’s appointment to construct the Beach Houses (Red House and Blue House) was a referral following on from the successful delivery of the award-winning neighbouring Sea Gem beach-front property.
The works comprised the initial demolition of two bungalows on the plot and subsequent construction of 2 new luxury 4-bedroom homes. Red House additionally housed a spa and changing area with a sliding window opening up onto the beach.
Both beach houses were designed and constructed using the most sustainable materials available and careful consideration was given to the ease of transport and construction on site in what were often, challenging weather conditions.
Faced with a diversity of challenges from the outset, the most prominent facing the team was access; located on the beach itself, the plot was only accessible by foot across the sand. With no vehicular access route in place, the team liaised with the client and Coastguard to agree a solution that would enable vehicles to access the site in a practical manner giving consideration to the general public, maximising safety and minimising disruption.
A bespoke trackway was effectively designed and built linking the site to the nearest access road, robust enough to withstand the weight of construction vehicles and weighed down with concrete barrels. The trackway was only usable out of public bathing hours (before 9am) after which, it was deeply covered with sand enabling the public to use the beach undisturbed or affected. Early each morning, the team would then mark out the track for the day’s planned deliveries, ensuring arrival, unload and departure before 9am.
With the beach being a popular public space notably during Easter, Summer and at weekends, the team proactively planned works and activities around these peak times. The concrete works and steel frame delivery for example, were carried out prior to April (when the beach was far quieter). From May onwards, with the beach more heavily populated at all times of the day, use of the track was stopped and replaced with a tractor and trailer (out of hours) provided by the client.
Throughout the project, the Senior Site Manager and staff maintained good relations with the Coastguard to ensure the safety and welfare of the public. As an SSSI site, the team worked closely with Natural England to ensure that all works met requirements and that special licences were obtained.
Mirroring the challenges from the delivery of neighbouring Sea Gem, the team faced the restraints of building within a marine environment but were able to use their experience to proactively counteract any issues.
Upon completion, these modern, stylistic houses were featured on Homes by the Sea, in George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and shortlisted for a RIBA Award.
Camber Sands, East Sussex
Walker & Martin
Fluid Structures/ J M Loades Associates