May 12, 2023

Framing views with Architectural Glazing for coastal dwellings

Written by Michelle Martin

High performance coastal glazing

If you are working on a project which is lucky enough to offer a coastal view, it is important this is capitalised and incorporated into the building design. Bespoke glazing is used often on coastal properties thanks to its ability to be designed to meet both the design requirements and the performance requirements of these harsh locations.

See below for 13 inspirational examples of coastal glazing from throughout the UK (and beyond) to see what is possible from your coastal glazing design.


Coastal Glazing in Cornwall

The coast in Cornwall is one of the longest coast lines in the word. Due to its position on the peninsular of England, Cornwall showcases a wide variety of coastal houses, all with amazing views that need to be captured.

Bespoke and modern houses are visible right along the coastline of Cornwall, with coastal facing glazing providing excellent views for the inhabitants.

Both Green Hedges and Dynargh are brilliant examples of bespoke homes set in the hills above Mawgan Porth beach. Just one look out through the slim sliding glass doors used here shows you the beauty of the location that has to be framed with minimal glazing to be appreciated. These modern houses in Cornwall also showcase a brilliant mix of local materials that complement the coastal glazing specification.

Stone Haven is an excellent example of the part that proper coastal glazing specification can have on a coastal property. The house is not directly located on the coast however, its elevated location amongst the hills of Bodmin allow the sustainable home to have a coastal view. A large double elevation of glass makes up the sea facing areas of the house. With slim sightlines, the sliding doors to the base and fixed glazing above capture these coastal views with no interruption. Due to the orientation of the building in association with the sea, key areas of the house were built out from the main structure and walled with glass to provide additional coastal views elsewhere.


Coastal Glazing in Dorset

96 miles of Dorset’s coast has been designated as a UNESCO world heritage site. The ‘Jurassic Coast’ got its name thanks to the fossils that have been found along the coast line.

If you are able to create a house along the Dorset coast, then you are able to capture some of the most impressive views off the South coast of the UK.

Belle Vue is located in Weymouth and maximised the house’s cliffside location with bespoke glazing that captures the views of the coast. The coastal house is tiered along a sloping site, with a collection of garden rooms and areas down the narrow garden, all designed with coastal glazing to capture the sea views. Frameless glass balustrades then ensure that these tiered areas do not block any views from other areas of the garden or home.

It isn’t just bespoke houses that can benefit from coastal views. Triple glazed sliding doors and bespoke corner windows were integrated into each of these luxury hotel cabins in Dorset. The hotel resort increases the visitor experience by focusing the interiors of the hotel rooms to the sea, using high specification glazing to achieve its performance goals.


Coastal Glazing in Devon

Due to its location on a peninsula, Devon is one of the few places that has two coast lines. About 65% of Devon’s coast is classed as a ‘heritage coast’ which is designated to protect coastlines of special scenic of environmental importance. As a result, building on the Devon coastline has to undergo strict inspection.

Old Quay is a brilliant example of a bespoke house on the Devon coast. The large one-off house located on the coast near Plymouth, with large elevations of triple glazed coastal glazing, overlooking the sea and mouth to the River Yealm. Integrated overhangs from the floors above protect the living areas from glare and overheating.

The large elevations of glass frame the coastal views by minimising interruptions. The coastal glazing was also specifically located within the elevations to maximise the sea facing views of the home.

In Dartmouth, large elevations of slim sliding glass doors were paired with frameless glass balustrades to capitalise on the coastal views afforded to the site. Vine House is a contemporary home that sits in the hills that overlook the marina in Dartmouth and adopted an ‘upside down’ house configuration to maximise this. The frameless glass design to the balustrades ensures uninterrupted views across the marina at all times.

Coastal Glazing in South East England

The UK’s coastal homes are not just all found in the South West. The South East of the UK houses a gorgeous collection of sandy beaches and coastal facing properties.

Camber Sands is one of the most well-known beaches along the South coast. Sat directly on the beach is a pair of bespoke houses by Waker and Martin architects. Here, the architects perfectly frame the coastal view within both the bedroom and living area with sliding doors and shaped fixed glazing. The glass was designed to fit perfectly into the shaped elevation of the beach house and the overhang of the building provides protection against wind and sun glare.

A little further along the coast is this bespoke ‘upside down house’ in Shoreham on Sea. The traditional set out of the rooms was inverted to maximise the coast views, with the living area on the first floor and all private areas – including bedrooms – found on the ground floor. The living area is then walled by structural glazing overlooking the sea and beach, with a small opening corner sliding door to create an outdoor decking area.

Coastal Glazing on the Channel Islands

Across the English Channel, the Channel Islands offer an excellent variety of architecturally designed homes, all with the aim to maximise the views from these island locations.

At The Moorings, large elevations of frameless structural glass were used on the upper floors, with a focal triangular window creating a double height window in the centre of the house. The frameless window frames the views over the sea with a seating area positioned directly beside the large window.

A different design approach was used at Fort Le Croq, which was created to look like a modern version of a traditional fort most often found on the islands.

Coastal Glazing in Barbados

Design inspiration can be found all over the world. Avalon Villa in the Caribbean is a bespoke home with a full architectural glazing package from IQ. The contemporary house in Barbados showcases that minimal glazing can be used even in the harshest of turbulent environments. Slim framed sliding glass, frameless windows and a whole range of glazing had to be designed for the hurricane prone area of the Caribbean.

The results of the glazing design are evident through the views possible through the sliding glass doors.

Specifying Glazing for Coastal Houses

To make the most of the amazing views available to coastal houses, minimally framed glazing is required. But you must ensure that the glazing is specified correctly to ensure high performance and longevity.

Due to the proximity to the sea, all glazing used on a coastal property must be marine grade as a standard. You can find out more about what marine grade glazing is here in our technical article.

Coastal houses are also subjected to high levels of wind that are not found in inner land or city locations. All glazing to these coastal properties have to ensure that they are designed to the correct wind loads. If they are not, the glass will be noticeably insecure. You may hear rattling or noticing bowing in the glass under extreme wind pressure if it is not specified correctly.

The team at IQ have extensive experience in designing houses for high wind loads as showcased in this wind load case study of a house in Cornwall.

If you are looking at specifying glazing for a coastal property or are just starting to look at the requirements for your coastal glazing design, speak to the team at IQ. We will be able to assist with specification, performance and design details.

Click here to contact the team and you can see more of our coastal glazing projects here.