Alumasc Facades have carried out their very first project using Cork as a decorative finish – and it’s causing something of a stir.
Set on harsh coastal salt-marshes in Essex, the beach house project was the brainchild of owner Marcus Taylor, who had a vision of creating something extraordinary that pushed boundaries in terms of both aesthetics and environmental synergy. Having drafted in Architect Lisa Shell, the two worked together to realise the vision, named Redshank, after the resident wading birds, and the result is quite remarkable.
Marcus Taylor was responsible for the initial idea, inspired by the Maunsell sea forts, which are visible from the beach house. Used as platforms for anti-aircraft guns in the second world war, the forts are imposing four-legged pods that can’t fail to leave an impression on anyone who sees them. Marcus also knew from the outset that he wanted Cork as the finish. He comments:
“I was interested in achieving a finished surface out of the same materials that formed the structure and the weathering skin. The idea of using cork started as a joke, due to its buoyancy – the site floods at high tide – but the more we explored its characteristics, the more appropriate it became.”
Architect Lisa Shell was completely onboard with the vision and was keen to cover the house in a material that represented the “fusion of nature and technology”.
Alumasc supplied its Swistherm External Wall Insulation system with 150mm Cork as the decorative insulation panels to the final design, which is a 48m2 one-bedroomed living space, constructed from CLT (cross laminated timber). It stands on three steel supports, which not only tip a nod to the Maunsell sea forts, but also ensure the construction remains sympathetic to its surrounding by offering minimum impact on the natural habitat of the salt marsh. Cork covers the top, underside and all four walls of the exterior; insulating, waterproofing and naturally changing colour with the weather, sitting perfectly alongside the local vegetation.
For more information about Alumasc’s Cork Insulation system, download the brochure here or call Area Salesman Joe Dawson on 07720 883 677.
Images courtesy of Lisa Shell Architects