Reflection in Cornwall: a one-of-a-kind project using CP155 LS lift and slide doors

Bespoke house builds are by their nature unique, but few are quite so one-of-a-kind as Reflection, a beautiful new holiday home recently completed by architecture firm Arco2, with an amazing install of the CP155 LS aluminium lift and slide doors from Livingwood..

What were the challenges of creating the project?

There were a number of factors that made Reflection so unique.

Firstly, there was the location itself, which had the planning designation of an Open Area of Local Significance (OALS). There are only a few sites in the whole of the UK with this classification, and there was naturally some trepidation as to whether the project would even get planning permission.

The nature of the build was also a challenge, with the client briefing the architects – Arco2 – to create a four bedroom house in which every room could benefit from sea views. Of course, the aim was to also avoid having a negative visual impact on one of the most picturesque areas in the UK.

Reflection Cornwall - Hi-finity sliding doors

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There were a number of additional requirements within the brief, including organic wildflower roofs, a large detached garage within a bund made using spoil from the site.

Overall, the aim was to design and create the build in such a way that it became a natural part of the stunning scenery, and that it didn’t interrupt the sea view for any pedestrians heading down the new pavement. It was important that the local residents would also be happy with the work once it was completed.

Energy conservation in the Reflection build

Thermal performance is a key part of achieving sustainability, and Reflection’s unique location immediately gave it a helping hand. Reflection was designed to nestle into the gradient of the landscape, and this meant that the earthy surroundings immediately began to cut thermal heat loss.

A number of extra features were also added to further aid the thermal performance of the building:

• The large wild-flower roof incorporated a thick layer of substrate, a thermally efficient, insulation-focused material
• The floor insulation contained a high performance PIR insulation with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and low global warming potential (GWP)
• The walls and roof were additionally insulated using sheep’s wool insulation, a by-product from a local rug-making tannery
• Reflection’s roof was built off site in a modular form, which helped to reduce on-site time.
• Any artificial lighting used in the project consisted of either LED or low energy lighting

Overall, Reflection’s U-values are as follows:

• Walls and floor: 0.13 W/m2K
• Roof: 0.14 W/m2K

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The building’s south-facing glazing helps to provide good constant levels of natural light as well as passive solar gains, and the roof overhang helps to cut down summer over-heating. The high level windows, meanwhile, allow for summer purge ventilation which is suitably for the hot weather.

The materials used in the build were chosen for their environmental credentials, with a focus on both local and recycled products that were far lower maintenance than traditional building supplies. Both local natural stone and local timber cladding was used, stained black to increase its lifespan.

Livingwood manufactured the glazing system, using high quality aluminium focused on recyclability, a trait that was also key in selecting the steelwork and the copper used in the build.
Finally, the project also included the installation of intelligent systems designed to control and conserve energy. The wireless system can be managed remotely and allows the owners to monitor the building via sophisticated underfloor heating controls, making it easy to avoid over-heating.

Water flow

One of the primary challenges of the project was obtaining mains water. A local listed hotel was reluctant to provide the necessary access to their land.
To combat this a borehole system capable of giving the house its own supply of water was included in the design alongside a low-water-use sanitary wave designed to cut down on the overall water requirements of the building.

Whilst mains water proved tough to obtain, the site itself contained an abundance of natural surface and sub-surface water. Multiple springs were discovered during the initial excavations and groundworks, which were able to be diverted towards the attenuation pond, itself set up to try and reduce peak run-off as well as coastal erosion from the watercourse that runs through the site. The key aim was, of course, to create a building that boasted better surface run off than the previous site.

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Health and well-being

As a future holiday home, it was obviously important that Reflection offered the atmosphere its name would suggest: a feeling of health and relaxation.

With that in mind, breathable air-tight building fabric was installed, allowing for moisture to breathe easily within and outside the walls: this helps to create naturally lower humidity levels and healthier air as a result.
The overall design was also focused on mental well-being, with high levels of natural light, sea views, and its base in the landscape creating a real feeling of comfort and tranquillity.

Ecology and Biodiversity

The ecologist involved in Reflection was keen to improve the formerly derelict site, and this was definitely achieved with the new design. The attenuation pond operates as a habitat for multiple wildlife including frogs, toads and newts, as well as a number of insects.

The wildflower green roof is also a new habitat that wasn’t present before, and the dry stone walling in the hedge hosts a number of insects and small animals, and was also planted with wildflower seeds to help it thrive.

How did the owners react?

In the end, Reflection was about creating a build that impressed those in the know. Alisha Lyndon was delighted with the build, saying:

The design blends beautifully into the landscape and is packed with considered design elements. Ian has an amazing vision, one that goes beyond the basics of good architecture - he has created a delightful home that not only looks good but is a joy to live in

 

Photographs copyright Layton Bennett Photography

Read more about Reflection in the Daily Mail here