Located on a perch overlooking Irish Sea, Rockmount House is a two storey residence for a family of six, designed by ShedKM architects. While the lower volume nestles into the landscape, the upper volume projects from its elevated location to offer panoramic views of the Welsh hills, the Irish Sea and a local estuary. The upper volume is both ground level and yet not and protruding at right angles from the ground level section is a swimming pool with a drop off on one side to the lower gardens. This two tiered landscape makes the most of the topography while at the same minimizing the visual impact on the coastline.
The two-tiered garden areas are connected via a gentle slope just past the swimming pool and a series of long and lazy concrete steps casually cascade down and around the slope before connecting to a series of pavers that lead back up to the residence. The Red Sandstone walls used as a retaining wall between the pool and the lower garden offers a warm contrast to the cooler tones of the grey concrete steps and swimming pool deck. The retaining wall also ties in with the lower base of the building for a continued and pleasant visual.
From the side of the home, the black facade of the upper level breaks up the scale of the residence offering it a more intimate appearance and at the same time enforcing the geometry of the spaces. The white stone used around the base of the home creates a reverse shadow effect to the overhangs as it keeps moisture away from the foundation.
The footprint of Rockmount House forms a “T”, allowing most of the social and private zones to take advantage of the ocean views. The “T” portion of the home comprise the garage on the lower level and the Master Suite upstairs. A glass bridge both connects and separates the Master Bedroom with the rest of the upper volume, offering the homeowners privacy and easy access at the same time.
Two walls of the Master Bedroom are glazed to take advantage of the breathtaking views. For this reason the room itself is kept simple and quiet. A bed, nightstands and a chair are all that’s required.
While the Master Bedroom is in its own private volume, it stays connected to the rest of the residence via a glass bridge and views to a private back terrace covered in grass. Next to the grassy terrace is a massive concrete chimney which is one of the few section of the view wall not covered in glazing
In front of the chimney is a fire pit complete with comfortable seating and lush plantings for vertical privacy. Behind the fire pit views into the open plan living area show just how big the volume really is.
Past the chimney on the far side of the residence, a cantilevered deck with a clear tempered glass railing system and roof overhang offers a sheltered place to enjoy the views. Below the deck is a collection of the red sandstone bricks used in the construction of the home. These bricks help the residence merge with the natural boulder outcrops that pop up periodically throughout the site. These outcrops are remnants of the abandoned quarry at the summit of Caldy Hill that Rockmount House is built upon.
The cantilevered deck features two modern chairs that are as much sculpture as they are seats with their bold red disc format balancing casually on their powder coated steel framework. Inside the residence, two just as contemporary sofas face each other creating a story of shape with their rectangular silhouettes and curvaceous tufting. While completely styles then the outdoor seating, the lush red area rug ties the two vignettes together into a cohesive visual that provides depth for the ocean view beyond.
Further into the home a patinated leather couch full of massive tufting creates its own cozy fire pit of sorts. Located just in front of the concrete fireplace it is a place for conversation, laughter and recreational fun. It is a place for where both family and friends can hang out long after the ocean views have disappeared into the night sky. It is, as the sign says, a place of love.
The upper volume contains the living and dining areas, kitchen, sunken snug, Master Bedroom and evenly sized children’s bedrooms. Downstairs is where the guest bedroom is located as well as a playroom. The stairwell connecting the two volumes is located centrally within the length of the upper story and runs along the same retaining wall that borders the pool. With an indoor conversation pit, an outdoor fire pit, a downstairs play room, an outdoor pool, and unbelievable ocean views, what more could a family of six want?
Photography by Jack Hobbhouse