The Edge: Scotland
The Edge: Scotland is totally unique luxury, new build powered by solar and air source technology: Perched on the brink of a 40m high cliff above the sea along a coastline known as the Scottish Riviera, it is a bespoke, sumptuous, gravity-defying, sanctuary with breathtaking 240 degree panoramic views. The Edge is an exceptional response to the luxury home market through an exacting client brief.
To quote Steven Lees (Director, SmartNewHomes) “Luxury homes in desirable locations are increasingly sought after.” with “one in four purchasers preferring a … contemporary look” and the Chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle who said "It's not about selling a commodity…, but a lifestyle" and the most highly sought after characteristic for the discerning purchaser is individuality. For the luxury home buyer location, location, location are closely followed by lifestyle and the opportunity to express their individuality. Furthermore, the trend is increasingly for low maintenance and energy efficient luxury homes.
The Edge provided an unparalleled opportunity to create a home that epitomizes today’s luxury market: typified by the contemporary coastal homes of Sandbanks but, for the clients, far more desirable due to the more dramatic, private and tranquil location, significantly lower population density and abundant bird and wildlife.
The clients divide their time between the UK and sailing in warmer climes due to a passion for the sea, wildlife and the natural environment. They value a relationship with the elements and the endless horizon and relate to the low impact, barefoot, out-doors lifestyle powered by wind and solar. The brief was to translate the spirit, ethos and experience of this life into their new home by creating year round, sustainable, outdoor living in a luxury, low maintenance, naturally inspired, flexible living space which provides a platform from which to experience nature. The aim was to create a sanctuary, an opportunity to be at one with the natural environment in a luxurious setting with privacy and security.
SITE AND CONTEXT
The clients identified with the excitement and potential of this sought after, but challenging site: It is situated on the brink of a 420 million year old cliff, has unparalleled sea views, is surrounded by ancient oak woodland, an RSPB reserve, a SSSI and in a National Scenic Area, idyllic whilst very compact - the only level area being the footprint of a former dwelling.
“Less is more”: a belief in the influence of ‘style’ on quality of life. Carefully specified materials were used to inspire, and to create luxury through understated simplicity. As, with well-executed design, simplicity equates to class, the client brief was for minimalist luxury to make the best use of space, with fittings that were aesthetically pleasing but also practical.
APPROACH AND EXECUTION
The concept is of a ‘floating’ structure: expressed in the cantilevered first floor; a 3m high ground floor glass wall; and internal design elements including floating stairs and central island. This innovative approach: maximizes a compact site; generates excitement: as the first floor appears to extend to the edge; and allows internal spaces to flow into external spaces on the first floor creating the optical illusion of outdoor living. A palette of oak, weatherboard, white render and stainless steel respect the surroundings whilst developing the marine theme.
Eco credentials: An imaginative amalgam of ICFs, SIPs and steel frame, this new build incorporates cutting edge and PassivHaus certified materials, fundamental PassivHaus design principles, energy efficient construction and technology to ensure sustainability into the future. A constant ambient temperature with low energy consumption and running costs is achieved through: south facing solar thermal store; on-site heat generation (Solar DHW); efficient electricity conversion (6.5KW ASHP: COP 4.1); heat recycling (whole house MHRV unit); and triple-glazed windows which enable t-shirt/bare-foot living.
Multigenerational: Flexible living spaces facilitate multiple uses so the house will evolve throughout the lifetime of the clients.
Technology assisted living: Carefully specified technology enhances living whilst not imposing on the simplicity and relationship with nature.
Eco AND glamour: Due to a unique approach to incorporating PassiveHouse principles The Edge competes with eco builds yet showcases the simplicity and clarity of form and glamour of International style modernist architecture.
Style: Described by a leading lifestyle magazine editor as “Contemporary coastal chic at it’s best” The Edge achieves a glamorous but understated simplicity that only comes from uncompromising attention to detail, meticulously specified materials and bespoke finishes.
Inspiration: Inspired by the natural world and specified for sustainability, aesthetic appeal and durability finishes include: limestone, slate, basalt, river washed pebbles, oak and carbonised bamboo. Along with the bespoke joinery these natural elements create the distinct character of the property and reflect the owners love of nature and desire for understated simplicity coupled with functionality.
Hi-end luxury: The Edge incorporates: volcanic limestone free standing bath, floating handcrafted oak staircase and bespoke joinery oak wall panels and storage, hand lacquered kitchen with floating island featuring a Ceasarstone worksurface, pop-up power socket, Blum BluMotion and servo drive drawers, Karcher door furniture, Rocca Designer sanitary ware, wet rooms with rainfall shower heads, Franke sinks and taps, ATAG appliance (including built in coffee machine and steam oven), remote operated feature fire, 3D home cinema experience with surround sound, digital mood lighting system, Internet enabled CCTV security system, automatic security lighting, automated entrance gate with intercom, maglock security locking, keyless entry, triple glazing and outdoor kitchen and hot tub area.
The Edge was awarded the prestigious Saltire Housing Award 2012. (http://www.saltiresociety.org.uk/3702) Synergy is achieved by the architectural, interior and garden design bearing the signature of a single designer focusing on the relationship between internal and external elements to extend indoor spaces outside creating serenity, a feeling of openness and a level of outdoor living not usually found in the UK.
Rarely does the opportunity arise to contribute to the design and build of a luxury property of the calibre of The Edge. It is a fulfilment of the client’s lifestyle choices and individuality.