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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

The Shingle House: NORD – the making of

February 15th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

The Shingle House replaces a dilapidated fisherman’s cottage at Dungeness in Kent. The cottage was known locally as The Smokery, since, like most of the fishing families in the area, the owner smoked and sold local fish from the site. On his retirement, the owner offered to sell the house and outbuildings to Living Architecture, presenting the team with an ideal opportunity to create a new house on the site, whilst respecting the historical significance of the area.

The Shingle House at night

The Shingle House at night

  • Architect: NORD
  • Location: Kent, UK

The Shingle House - Exterior

The Shingle House - Exterior

NORD proposed a house that reflects both the shape and scale of the previous house, maintaining the original footprint. They created three varying shaped pitched roofed buildings, linked by glass walkways, following the loose arrangement of the existing buildings. The black, cedar cut shingles are affixed to all surfaces in a north to south direction, whilst the east and west surfaces have vertical boarding. The house evokes memories and images of many small fishing communities around the British coast.

The Shingle House

The Shingle House

The site is set further back from the Dungeness Road than some of the other nearby houses. This helps date it as earlier than others that have been built nearer the ever receding shoreline. With no immediate neighbours, the house has been designed to take full advantage of all aspects and offer maximum flexibility for visitors who can either track the passage of the sun, or benefit from shade, or shelter from the wind.


Although there is a small garden area to the rear, there are few boundaries in Dungeness and the house sits surrounded by the shingle, deposited over hundreds of years to create this unique environment.

NORD (Northern Office for Research and Design) was founded by Robin Lee and Alan Pert in July 2002. In 2005 the co-directors were included in The Architects’ Journal exhibition ‘40 Under 40’, at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition showcased the best young practices in the UK.

NORD is currently working on projects varying in scale and budget across a range of sectors. These include residential, commercial, domestic, retail and leisure, as well as interior and exhibition design.

In addition to their award-winning architectural work, NORD specialises in furniture and product design. A multi-disciplinary approach ensures that design solutions are thoroughly researched and co-ordinated with clients’ requirements.

NORD works closely with their clients to understand their needs and ambitions, offering solutions that are creatively strong, ensuring added benefits and value.

The interior of the house mirrors the apparent simplicity of the all black exterior: timber boards are bleached white, and set against a white concrete central core. This neutrality is offset by an unusual, naturally coloured purple timber floor (Purpleheart). The white timber boards are in two widths: 100mm wide on walls and ceilings, laid in a north – south direction; 75mm wide east west. The laying of these boards has been meticulously detailed to ensure continuity throughout all the spaces.

NORD has been involved in every detail of the house, from the Shaker-inspired pegs inset around the walls of each room, to the door and tap handles, fashioned either from Purpleheart or ebonised black hardwood, to the brass sinks and the careful selection of switch plates and accessories. The Bath House basin and bath are cast black concrete; the kitchen work surfaces and floor are white cast concrete.

The furniture, lighting and fabrics have been selected to give the interior a contemporary, eclectic feel and NORD designed some of the bedside cabinets and the beds. NORD has consciously varied the scale of rooms in the house, keeping the intimacy of the original cottage for the bedrooms, whilst creating more open spaces for communal eating, drinking and socialising.

Taking advantage of the roof space within the main house, NORD created a small bedroom and bathroom in the eaves and a small mezzanine seating area, a restful space overlooking the main sitting room below and giving elevated views across Dungeness through a large ‘picture’ window.




Kitchen and dining

• Keramik dining table – designed by Bruno Fattorini, produced by MDF Itallia
• Basel Chair – designed by Jasper Morrison, produced by Vitra
• Pendent Lamp A110 – designed by Alvar Aalto, produced by Artek

Dining room

Dining room

Sitting room

• Boyd sofa – designed and produced by Russell Pinch
• Riley armchair – designed by Russell Pinch for SCP
• CH28 lounge chair – designed by Hans Wegner, produced by Carl Hansen
• CH25 lounge chair – designed by Hans Wegner, produced by Carl Hansen
• Slab coffee table – designed and produced by Tom Dixon
• Side Cabinet – designed and produced by Schubladen
• Footstool – designed by Donna Wilson, produced by SCP
• Lean standing light – designed by Orsjo
• Potence wall light –designed by Jean Prouvé, produced by Vitra


• Modular sofa – vintage, supplied by Atomica Antiques
• Standing light – vintage, supplied by Atomica Antiques




• Bed frames – designed by Nord for The Shingle House
• Bedside cabinets – designed and produced by Schubladen
• Bedside lights – Lean wall light designed by Orsjo

Contact NORD

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Category: House

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