Stunning curved sliding patio doors and windows, supplied by Balconette, introduce light and take full advantage of panoramic sea views at this award-winning, Art Deco-inspired seafront house at East Lothian on the north-east Scottish coast.
The completion of Promenade House at Musselburgh realises a long-held ambition for Clive and Susan Andrew to build a modern house beside the sea for their retirement that would also accommodate guests, in particular their grandchildren.
The couple’s original design idea was to create the striking feel of an ocean liner combined with a ‘contemporary take’ on Art Deco architectural style. With the yacht club next door, they were keen that the building was in keeping with this tradition.
However, the site – formerly occupied by a subsiding Victorian dwelling - posed a number of opportunities and challenges. These were cleverly overcome by a site-specific design solution from their architect Honor Thomson, of Edinburgh-based Wiszniewski Thomson Architects.
As well as the curved fenestration elements, her plans included positioning rooflights in the south-facing roof to allow light into every level of the building.
“The main opportunities offered by the plot are the panoramic views,” she says. “The plans therefore involved careful consideration to capture the sea views from almost all of the rooms with priority allocated to the main living accommodation on the first floor.
“Here the curved doors do look great and are an outstanding feature. They really fulfil their purpose in making a dramatic statement and opening up the sea views, while letting in a lot of light, which is important as the house faces north. Curved windows in the master bedroom above follow the shape of the building and also allow in much natural light.”
Balconette’s technical team provided assistance with the drawings at the design stage. “The team was very helpful in ensuring the correct dimensions for the curved doors and windows. I would use the company again,” adds Honor.
Delighted with their ‘forever home’, Susan and Clive say the curved doors create quite a stir. “We had been looking for a long time before we saw the doors on Balconette’s stand at Grand Designs Live. We love them and they’re a great addition,” says Susan. “Everybody who visits is very impressed by them and asks to see the view.
“We were looking at straight sliding doors originally, but we would not have achieved the same effect. With the curved doors, there’s no interruption to the view and they’re fantastic when opened up on a sunny day!”
In 2012 Promenade House won the Musselburgh Conservation Society’s annual design award for its ‘striking contemporary design’ and was praised for its contribution to the town’s built environment. It also won Designer House of the Year in the 2012 Scottish Home Awards.
In the same year, the property was Commended in the Saltire Society Housing Design Awards for its ‘organised layout’ making it easy for the owners to occupy well into old age and ‘to realise their long term ambition for a home strongly connected to the sea, powerfully achieved here with curved windows thrusting for the view. These are bespoke and beautifully made and reflect the high quality of detailing and execution throughout.’