We took a half day out of the office at Lucas Hickman Smith last week, to go and look at and talk about buildings…and have lunch, of course! Tibby’s Triangle in Southwold, a Hopkins Homes development designed by Ash Sakula, was the ultimate objective, but we went first to Walberswick, to a development I’ve been aware of for a good few years and now seems very relevant to Ruralise.
Manor Close is a cul-de-sac of about twenty or so houses, opening off the main street in Walberswick, adjacent to the village shop. The houses are generally wide-fronted and have big pan-tiled roofs, often sweeping down to ground floor eaves level. The ground floor elevations are predominantly in brick which rises up to form blocky solid chimneys. Barge-boards and first floor timber cladding are in black, the window-frames in contrasting white.
The landscaping is simple but effective. The original scheme seems to have included some birch trees, now nicely mature, some areas of grass verge and a good deal of hedging. The hedging is clearly well liked and maintained, and gives a very strong character to the development, though they have perhaps been allowed to grow rather taller than necessary. (I was put in mind of Martin Lehman‘s rather spooky paintings of yew topiary!)
These are clearly quite ‘normal’ houses in some respects (another key Ruralise theme – see ‘Rural Simplicity’) yet they are also quite unusual. I don’t know who designed them (if you do, let me know) and I also find them quite hard to date – early 80s perhaps – but their slightly timeless quality is, for me, part of their understated appeal.
Next: Tibby’s Triangle, Southwold