Chesil Cliff House
With its bold and elegant architectural concept, the build of the iconic lighthouse, Chesil Cliff House, presented a compelling roofing challenge.
Anchored into the bedrock of the cliffs of Croyde, North Devon, the building is full of juxtapositions. From contrasting geometries and shades of black and white, to varying textures and multi-level roofs – thanks, in part, to an imposing four-story rotunda.
Overall, due to the owner’s financial difficulties, the building’s journey into an art deco family home was a long and arduous one. Spanning over ten years, it famously featured in the ‘saddest episode ever’ of Grand Designs. However, after sitting idle for some time, the project was able to start up again. It was at this point that Western Flat Roofing secured the £25k project to work on the property’s multifaceted roof.
Aesthetics were vital to the project. Western Flat Roofing requested a specification from Sika to waterproof all the roof areas, including the rotunda’s roof on top of a large tower which is attached to a rectangle-shaped roof, and also extremely challenging soffit sections of the lighthouse.
Seeking a low maintenance, durable and smooth waterproof finish that, crucially, could provide different colour schemes at different levels of the building, Sika specified two types of Sikalastic – one white and one black – the latter being Sikalastic-701.
Sikalastic-701 – a two-part polyurethane hybrid, gloss-finish top coat for Sika Liquid Applied Membrane waterproofing systems – had never been used before on a project in the UK. Ideal for structures with numerous details, the product benefits from easy and quick application, offered the client a cost-efficient life cycle extension of Chesil Cliff House’s existing roofs, and also provided that all-important monochrome mirror gloss-finish that the client was looking to achieve.
Using a product that’s new to the UK market, Western Flat Roofing went above and beyond, undergoing additional training in order to ensure a perfect finish.
One of the most challenging aspects of the job was working with the building’s complex details. Although exceptionally complex, with great care and skill, the roofing team achieved an immaculate end result.
Other challenges included the weather. Being positioned on the coast, there was the constant threat of wind and rain driving in across the Atlantic. At times this created a difficult working environment, that the team combatted using protective clothing and clear polypropylene face shield masks, and ensured that nothing was blown around the working area. Being environmentally aware throughout the project, the team removed all waste from the site, and the liquid product and insulation used created very little waste.
Once the remainder of the house is complete, the stunning and contemporary coastal house will go on sale for approximately £10m.
Being such a high value and well-known project, it has received a great deal of press coverage over the years. The roofing team ensured quality was maintained throughout and also received regular site visits from Sika, who checked the standard of work and was on hand to help with any difficulties throughout.
The team’s finished roofs have been dubbed ‘spectacular’ by many, making the home well deserving of its hefty price tag.
This project was nominated for a NRWA award in 2020.
Sikalastic 625 7015, a dark coloured base coat, Sikalastic 625 9016, a white topcoat, and a black Sikalastic 701. Kingspan PR 27 insulation, 50mm thick, was used for the upstands of the parapets around the main roof.