Simon Conder Associates' Black Rubber House on Dungeness beach in Kent (UK) started as a conversion of a former fisherman’s cottage and ended up three-quarters new build.
The house is built almost entirely of Finnish wood and clad entirely in black rubber. There's only one bedroom. Visitors are accomodated in the 1954 aluminuim Airstream caravan parked next to the house.
Dungeness Beach in Kent is a classic example of ‘Non Plan’ and the houses that populate the beach have developed through improvisation and bodge. The scheme develops this tradition in a way that responds to the drama and harshness of the landscape.
The original building itself is the product of a series of changes and extensions since it was built as a fisherman’s hut in the 1930s. It has been stripped back to its timber frame, extended to the south and west to capture the views and clad both internally and externally in spruce plywood. This plywood provides all the internal finishes, including walls, floors, ceilings, doors and joinery. Externally both walls and roof are clad in black rubber, a technically more sophisticated version of the layers of felt and tar that are found on many of the existing buildings. One of the best views is from the bath which is cantilevered out over the beach to give dramatic views to the south and west.
Internally priority has been given to maximising the living areas and the house only has one small bedroom. Visitors are accommodated in a 1954 Airstream caravan which is parked next to the house, the silver of the aluminium caravan providing a striking visual contrast to the black rubber.