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Ness Point House / Tonkin Liu Architects

  • 17:00 - 1 May, 2017
Ness Point House / Tonkin Liu Architects
Ness Point House  / Tonkin Liu Architects, © Robby Whitfield
© Robby Whitfield

© Nick Guttridge  © Nick Guttridge  © Robby Whitfield © Nick Guttridge  + 30

  • Landscape Architect

    Tonkin Liu
  • Lighting Design

    Tonkin Liu with Aedas Interiors, Isometrix
  • Interior Design

    Aedas Interiors
  • Structural engineer

    Eckersley O’Callaghan
  • Services Engineer

    Mendick Waring
  • SAP consultant

    Abba Energy
  • Quantity surveyor & Project management

    GPM Partnership
  • Contractor

  • More Specs Less Specs
© Robby Whitfield
© Robby Whitfield

Text description provided by the architects. Cultural context

Ness Point is a new house set in the dramatic landscape of the White Cliffs of Dover. The client grew up in the locality and commissioned Tonkin Liu to design a modern building that responded to the cultural heritage of this landmark setting and to his own family heritage, suggesting that the building could in some ways be Celtic.

© Greg Storrar
© Greg Storrar

Architecture as landscape

Hunkered into the land with undulating thick walls along its length, Ness Point is constructed as a journey with views that pull the surrounding landscape into the house. Each room is orientated towards a different aspect of the landscape, across the passing ships of the English Channel, towards the sun rising out of the sea at the winter solstice, and over to the coastal cliffs called Ness Point, after which the house is named.

© Nick Guttridge
© Nick Guttridge

Exposed to the elements

In response to the exposed nature of cliff top site perched 65 meter above the sea, the house is designed as a highly sealed and insulated enclosure. The castle-like Ness Point House utilises heat recovery and solar thermal renewable systems to maximise energy efficiency in the winter, whilst the long gallery skylight and eco-vents enable passive cooling for equally exposed hot summer sun.

© Nick Guttridge
© Nick Guttridge

Cavernous volume

Although the form is irregular the constructional techniques used to construct the house are traditional. The combined effect of undulating plan and inclined sections creates a cavernous internal space that has been articulated to allow flexibility of use. The interior catches the dynamism of the day’s changing light so that the building becomes a part of the larger canvas of ever-changing coastal weather.

Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan
© Alex Peacock
© Alex Peacock

Landscape of time 

Ness Point has been designed as if it had grown out of the land in which it is embedded. The bio-diverse green roof slopes downward into the land at the rear, retaining rainwater and harbouring local wildlife, merging the house, over time, into the landscape of the coastal cliff top. Tonkin Liu have used their unique storytelling methodology to design a house that fulfils the poetry of place.

© Nick Guttridge
© Nick Guttridge

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Cite: "Ness Point House / Tonkin Liu Architects" 01 May 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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