Corstorphine & Wright convert a WWII-era concrete bunker into a holiday home, celebrating the enormous historical significance of the structure whilst ensuring a habitable and commercially viable space for the client.
“Despite several intricate, technical challenges, this project reveals and celebrates an important piece of wartime history, and we are delighted to have brought it back into long-term use for our client,” states Jonny Plant, director of Corstorphine & Wright.
“One of the key things for us as designers was to tell the story of the bunker. Had we plastered and painted the walls, and installed standard fittings and timber floors, all sense of the original building would have been lost. Instead, we worked with the fabric of the building as we discovered it,” he continues.
“It is imperative that when you stay in the bunker, you are aware that you are staying in a bunker, not any other holiday home, and that you are experiencing history. I think we can confidently say this has been achieved and we are all very proud of the result.”
The design for the bunker is deeply rooted in the structure’s history and retains as much of the original fabric and “feel” of the space as possible.
The entrance to the bunker remains as it was, whilst a new “bomb blast” opening in the existing fabric allows natural light into the space, as well as breathtaking sea views across Ringstead Bay.
All rooms are arranged around the central living space, which contains a log-burning stove, seating, and a dining table.
The master bedroom is separated from the living room by a glass door, while the kitchen, second bedroom, and bathroom are placed in the rooms on either side.
A second, smaller bomb-blast opening was created to allow light into the second bedroom.
The bunker otherwise remains submerged in the landscape, as it was originally designed to be.
Project: The Bunker House
Architects: Corstorphine & Wright
Structural Engineer: Symmetrys
Photographers: Will Scott