Watergate Bay, Cornwall
The owners of the Watergate Bay Hotel came to us with their vision to push the boundaries in environmental and sustainable design. The approach taken was to produce south facing terraces of earth-sheltered, two storey dwellings with green roofs and large terraces.
The majority of the glazing was placed on the south elevation to make best use of the winter sun and sea views. This strategy reduces winter heating requirements through passive solar gains. The dwellings benefit from other sustainable low-tech solutions such as high levels of insulation, rainwater collection and exhaust air heat pumps. The green roofs help to blend the development into the landscape, improve biodiversity and reduce the speed of rainwater run-off. The strategy also provides an attractive outlook for residents in higher level apartments.
Externally the dwellings use locally sourced timber cladding and lime render to create a modern ‘beach hut’ aesthetic. Internally, care has been taken to use as many natural products as possible, such as the recycled newspaper insulation and the wood wool sheathing and insulation boards. This combined with the ventilation system and natural daylighting all help to create healthy internal environments.
From the outset the intention was to limit car access to the site and create a pedestrian orientated environment that would have a softer impact on the site and locality. Car parking is kept in one area of the site where sea views would not be readily available. Areas of soft landscaping have been planted with hardy, coastal species and retaining structures have been created using ‘plantable’ solutions, allowing nature to take a foothold.
The project is just one of various improvements made to the resort over the last 15-20 years and places the hotel within one of the top places to stay in Cornwall.