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Coast Modernism

56790557 0 Innovative new build Shingle House is the first architect design a 2 1650377247274

Famous for its wild and desolate landscape, Dungeness in Kent is also home to a unique collection of houses. Dominic Bradbury takes us on tour

Shingle House, an innovative new build, is the first architect-designed rental property in Dungeness (for details visit living-architecture.co.uk).  Its mezzanine lounge offers a sublime vantage point, with the large window framing views across the beach to the sea. The armchair is by pinchdesign.com

Shingle House, an innovative new build, is the first architect-designed rental property in Dungeness (for details visit living-architecture.co.uk). Its mezzanine lounge offers a sublime vantage point, with the large window framing views across the beach to the sea. The armchair is by pinchdesign.com

Dungeness is little more than a coastal hamlet, but many of its buildings and structures are steeped in history, character, originality and invention. Some are family fishing cottages that have grown and evolved over the years, while others date back to the 1920s when South Eastern Railway staff were offered redundant railway carriages at knockdown prices, as well as a small bundle of shingles on which to put them.

Over the past few years, a number of these existing buildings, such as Beach Cottage (see reverse), have been updated to create homes that are better able to withstand the elements. There have also been conversions of other non-residential buildings, including coast guard stations and war structures used to test navigation systems.

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There have also been rare opportunities to build modern houses, such as Shingle House (see right). Given the tight controls on new buildings here, these have tended to replace abandoned structures. Even then, the resulting designs echo those older buildings and reference the coastline that shaped their personality.

  • This is an edited excerpt from Dungeness Coastal Architecture By Dominic Bradbury, out May 5 from HarperCollins, price £25. To order a copy for £21.25 with free shipping until May 10, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937

In the dining room, carefully positioned windows frame key views of the landscape while maintaining the privacy of Shingle House.  Dining chairs are from jaspermorrison.com.  The pendant lights are from artek.fi

In the dining room, carefully positioned windows frame key views of the landscape while maintaining the privacy of Shingle House. Dining chairs are from jaspermorrison.com. The pendant lights are from artek.fi

Built in 1910 by a local fishing family, Beach Cottage has been updated to open up space without changing its original plan.  Its back porch has glass walls that frame inland views, as well as AstroTurf flooring that blurs the line between indoors and out.  For a similar ottoman, try sohohome.com

Built in 1910 by a local fishing family, Beach Cottage has been updated to open up space without changing its original plan. Its back porch has glass walls that frame inland views, as well as AstroTurf flooring that blurs the line between indoors and out. For a similar ottoman, try sohohome.com

Beach Cottage's combined kitchen and dining area has been warmed up with the addition of plywood panels for walls and ceilings.  Try 1stdibs.com for similar vintage dining chairs and originalbtc.com for similar pendant lights

Beach Cottage’s combined kitchen and dining area has been warmed up with the addition of plywood panels for walls and ceilings. Try 1stdibs.com for similar vintage dining chairs and originalbtc.com for similar pendant lights

The Dungeness beach landscape is an inspiration in itself, with the derelict boats having a powerful sculptural presence

The Dungeness beach landscape is an inspiration in itself, with the derelict boats having a powerful sculptural presence

Shop the look

Channel the modern coastal vibe with an understated palette, wood and textured accessories

Vase, £40, hunterandcostore.com

Lamp, £149, smallable.com

Plate, £40, amara.com

Vase, £40, hunterandcostore.com, lamp, £149, smallable.com and plate, £40, amara.com

Cushion, £90, goodhoodstore.com

Thrown, £25, saitsburys.co.uk

Plate, £24, libertylondon.com

Cushion, £90, goodhoodstore.com, throw, £25, saitsburys.co.uk and plate, £24, libertylondon.com

Vase, £45, selfridges.com

Slime, £48, neptune.com

Serving bowl, £9, nordicnest.com

Vase, £45, selfridges.com, vase, £48, neptune.com and serving bowl, £9, nordicnest.com

Rug (150cm x 245cm), £460, bombinate.com

Coffee table, £449, westelm.co.uk

Shelving, £1,795, sohohome.com

Rug (150cm x 245cm), £460, bombinate.com, coffee table, £449, westelm.co.uk and shelf, £1,795, sohohome.com

Sofa, £2,595, oka.com

Chair, £798, anthropology.com

Sofa, £2,595, oka.com and chair, £798, anthropologie.com

Suspension, £285, heals.com

Floor lamp, £775, nest.co.uk

Vase, £30, toast.st

Pendant, £285, heals.com, floor lamp, £775, nest.co.uk and vase, £30, toa.st

Cushion, £97, smallable.com

Side table, £139.99, hm.com

Cushion, £97, smallable.com and side table, £139.99, hm.com


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