Shearwaters is a replacement dwelling designed by OB Architecture and is located in the Pembrokeshire Town of Tenby. It is located on the southern side of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park at a cliff top boasting panoramic views from Tenby to the west and the Bristol channel to the south. Photography by Matt Cant.


















The brief was to create a contemporary 5-bedroom dwelling that was unique but complementing of the typical pitched roof vernacular of the area. The design developed out of a series of detailed studies into the local roof forms, pitches and relationships between geometries.

The plan spreads east and west to the boundaries of the long and narrow site to maximise the size of the front and rear gardens. A ground floor form containing the dining and living spaces reaches out to the back garden to respond to the view. It continues back through the main house and reappears to the front garden housing the garage.

A double pitched roof form evolved in response to the width of the house with a larger gable positioned to the north and a smaller gable next to the neighbouring house. The roof drapes over the gabled form hugging the house and giving it a protected and welcoming feel.

The plan was to benefit from open-plan living with the option of separation for quiet and focused activities. The internal arrangement is focused around a centralised stair void that provides a heart to the house, allowing fluid connectivity of the open-plan and formal accommodation.

The stair benefits from floor to ceiling glazing to capture the views over the Bristol Channel and roof lights to allow daylight deep into the building. A terrace and generous landing provide a moment to admire the view.

The main bedroom accommodation is orientated south to take further advantage of the views. The master bedroom benefits from a vaulted roof capturing the drama of the roof geometry. The solid flanking walls frame a completely glazed wall which provides for far-reaching views over the cliff.

The roof form is clad in light zinc which gives an aesthetically robust appearance in recognition of the stormy winds that sweep through the cliff top site. The gables are infilled with cedar left untreated to react and weather naturally in contract to the zinc.

At ground floor, heavy slate walls run through and around the house appearing to protect against the weather and provide a strong support to the encompassing roof form.

Styling: Nicola Wilkes

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