Kaywana Hall - Kingswear
Kaywana Hall, Kingswear
Those readers who are residents in Kingswear or regularly pass through the village to the Lower Ferry, can’t have failed to notice that there’s been much building work taking place at Kaywana Hall, which ‘lurks’ mysteriously in the woods. By The Dart was, therefore, honoured to be given a glimpse of the finished work by owners Tony Pithers and Gordon Craig.
The project architect was Brixham-based, Stan Bolt, who’s been steadily developing a reputation for spectacular buildings.
He explains, “Kaywana Hall was designed in the early 1960’s by Mervyn Seal, a well-known and progressive local architect, as his own residence. The architectural intent and clarity of the1960’s work and its relationship with its secluded wooded site was still discernible despite subsequent alterations and extensions executed over time.
The new design seeks to honour the hallmarks of the original work but in a modern context. This entailed demolition of some extensions, and upgrading and renewing the majority of the fabric of the existing building to achieve current environmental and performance standards.
We sought to reduce unnecessary detail, simplify the form and use durable materials that will function efficiently, age gracefully and engage sympathetically and fully with its environment.”
The owners Tony and Gordon moved in 5 years ago with the intention of refurbishing the house but ended up effectively re-building it. It was Stan’s idea to re-build in broadly the same style as the original design but using modern materials, more glass (double-glazed this time) as well as opening up some of the internal spaces. The project is still not quite finished with further work required to complete all of the, unusually, self-contained guest accommodation.
The building work was carried by another local firm, Fraser Langdon. Tony comments, “All the contractors and sub-contractors were brilliant - the workmanship was of a consistent high standard.” In total the project lasted 18 months. Steve Penney, Managing Director of Fraser Langdon says, “We have carried out numerous contracts around Kingswear, usually on difficult and confined sites. So it was pleasing to win this contract.
Being in its own grounds with good access meant there was plenty of room for all our plant and machinery but the challenge with this project was the exacting detail the Architect had designed, using all types of different materials. This has created a unique and beautiful building.” Particularly striking is the extensive use of zinc for the roof and many of the side elevations.
The landscaping is still not complete but the mix of wood decking, slate paving, Welsh stones and glass balconies gives a faintly Zen-like feel to the outside pathways and decking areas.
The interior is equally striking with Stan Bolt’s signature coloured laminated units and walls, especially in the various bathrooms, and the abundant use of unpainted timber ceilings. The interior is unashamedly contemporary with a beautiful yet simple kitchen sitting like a ship’s bridge above the main living area. The interior has been a close collaboration between the owners and the architect with a fine attention to detail.
Space is too limited in this magazine to give real justice to the description of this house and the impact it has, but the pictures tell their own story. As Tony says, “Our friends and visitors rave about the house. We are delighted with the result and it has exceeded our expectations.”
First published October 2009 By the Dart