Situated on the Jurassic Coast, the three house development sits above the public beach Castle Cove, overlooking the Portland Harbour. The area is famous for its sailing and water sports, hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing events in 2012. These ideal views are enjoyed throughout Weymouth, however on the site of Castle Cove, these have come at a price. The site constraints include a Site of Special Scientific Interest and World Heritage Site at the base of the site, as well as land instability, which is common along this area of the coast. The condition of the site is deceiving with the existing ground condition hidden under dense hedgerow. The public footpath leading down to Castle Cove beach has already been victim to this instability, the remaining path now a dirt track for those who choose to access the beach at their own risk.
Due to the constraints on site, the massing was kept similar to that already approved. AR’s contemporary approach focused on simplifying the massing and materials to create a set of stream-lined, modest homes. Spread over three floors, the house is designed to appear at one storey from Old Castle Road, a flat roof employed for minimum impact. Two elements sit below, pushed around a central core to break up their mass. The façade is opened in spaces to capture aspect, and the pods rotated to avoid overlooking between the houses and maximise views in all directions. Finally, the two lower floors are submerged in the landscape, obscuring the lower elements.