The Boathouse


Location: Devon

Architect: Adams Collingwood Architects

Client & main builder: Mr & Mrs T Stone

Structural engineer: Paul Carpenter Associates

Joinery: Rozen Furniture

Wood supplier: Stones Marine Timber

Landscape architects: Rathbone Partnership

Species: Douglas fir, yellow cedar, Sitka spruce (Canada)

Photograph: ©JimStephenson

“A fabulous hand-built home with a wonderful story. The use of local materials, except for the two Canadian spruce trees, and local labour overseen by the owner, a craftsman with attention detail and a rigour in his approach, make this a worthy winner.” 
– Kirsten Haggart

The Boathouse functions as a practical family residence that also respects the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings. Natural materials are at the heart of the project and are shown off throughout. The geometry and materials used are expressed in different ways on different floors. Above-ground materials are timber, straight and deliberately man made. Below ground, the emphasis is on stone and natural curves, from a curved bench and coat rail to curved doors. Everything above ground is made from timber supplied by the owners’ timber import company, sourced from Canada. The owners’ expertise has meant that the best quality wood has been used. Yellow cedar tiles and cladding adorn the roof and exterior, while the upstairs floor is made from Douglas fir. The long, straight grain of the wood has been deliberately exposed on all levels to show off its beauty. The typical house plan has been inverted, with the main living spaces set above the bedrooms. Other interesting design features include the eaves, which were inspired by thatched roofs, and the use of surplus roof copper throughout the project. The large, open plan living space is flooded with light and features a glass and timber balcony above the lower-level entrance door. The house looks out over the Salcombe Estuary, which has played a key role in the family’s history.