Le Foin Bas House by Jamie Falla Architecture

Jamie Falla Architecture designed the redevelopment of Le Foin Bas, a 4 bedroom family home located on the island of Jersey (part of the Channel Islands).

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Project description

Starting out as a dilapidated late 1950’s villa, the redevelopment of this 4 bedroom dwelling on the south coast of Jersey was addressed with the primary aims to open up and increase the living areas connected to a re-landscaped garden, reduce the resulting carbon emissions, and take advantage of the potential views over the bay. We successfully achieved this by dismantling a significant section of the house, opening up and creating open plan living with the kitchen at its heart, while incorporating environmentally passive design techniques and loading the house with cutting-edge technology.

The clients saw development possibilities due to its unique location overlooking St. Brelades Bay when purchasing the house in early 2000. They approached us in the spring of 2005 to initially look at extending the house to potentially accommodate their extended family. After many schemes and studies, the project developed from a modest side extension to a substantial demolition of the house and 2-storey extension. A highly conservative planning authority together with a unique design approach, resulted in an 8-month pre-application advice period followed by an 8-month application period, ending in May 2008. During which time an archaeological dig was required due to its historically sensitive location.

With our guidance and organization, local building contractors worked with specialist glazing manufacturers, roofing contractors, and render suppliers from South England, while using basic and well testing building methods.

Ground source heat pump provides pool heating in the summer and ample space heating during the winter. The large south facing glass facade provides solar gain during the winter, and with the doors and the roof lights open, provides effective ‘stack’ ventilation to all areas of the house during the summer. The project was on site for 12 months and was successfully completed on time and in budget.

Wanting to emulate traditional island buildings that celebrate their completion with date stones, our clients asked us to have a fresh look at the idea. We did this by setting out smaller private windows onto the public facade of the house using Morse code to spell out in the fenestration; the name of the house, the year and our clients initials. The original house was a clumsy mixture of various extension resulting a maze of small and unusable rooms. The proposed design partially demolished the existing house and simply linked the retained parts using the latest in cutting edge materials and building techniques. Keeping the bedrooms in the east wing of the house allowed each room to have a spectacular view over St. Brelade’s bay. The Master Bedoom and balcony to the south has a unique and elevated position over the lap pool and uninterrupted views of the coastline. The kitchen and dining space form the heart of the family home with every room opening onto this double height space.

The result is a distinctive building to the island, which fulfilled the client brief, responded to its context, and is a truly unique family home.

Architect: Jamie Falla Architecture

Photos by Richard Brine

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