Around our local region (Kent and Sussex) we’re lucky enough to be near the majority of one of England’s more unusual historical building designs – Oast houses. Despite being around since the 1500s, the majority were built in the mid 1800s for the very specific purpose of drying hops before being sent to the brewers. Nowadays they mostly function as beautiful homes, with the pointed roof and curved wall of the former kiln creating exceptionally unique living spaces with lots of curbside charm.
But it’s not the traditional we’re focusing on today, rather a very modern interpretation of these iconic buildings by ACME. Taking cues from local architecture Bumpers Oast House in Marden, Kent mimics the curved shape and conical roof, but offers a decidedly contemporary skin to the outside.
Rather than divide the building in two, with the classic clay tiles on the roof and brick walls below, the plan was to create a design that smoothed the exterior. After deliberation about the many material merits of concrete, bricks, and corten steel to create the seamless covering, clay shingles were chosen to clad both roof and wall. An additional touch of personality was provided by differing tones which mix and play across the surface.
The classic white cowl is nowhere to be seen, with the architects instead opting for dramatic angles and functional rooflights. The five intersecting buildings create a highly modern floorplan with ample open living spaces and large windows offering views of the land and of the home’s stylish curves.
Unable to deny the inherent appeal of this gorgeous shape and spectacular finish, this year’s Surface Design Awards saw Bumpers Oast winning both best “House Exterior” and best “House Interior”.
Surface Design Awards
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, June 2021.