Hiding in plain sight
A newbuild ‘barn’ not far from the coast matches the surrounding vernacular while being contemporary, bright and airy inside
Gina Portman’s house is almost impossible to find, hidden down a tree-lined farm track, on the edge of a village somewhere near the English Channel. When you finally navigate past the big industrial gate, wheels crunching on thick gravel, the sight before you is not exactly a cosy cottage. Instead, a big wooden building, with narrow windows giving the impression of a giant bird hide, is linked to the driveway by a kind of drawbridge. There are no clues to the character and warmth on the other side of the large double doors.
We wanted to build something modern and brutalist, but we weren’t allowed to