Long View — Morvah


Long View, Morvah, commands dramatic views sitting perched atop a cliff edge on the West Penwith coast in Cornwall, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (CAONB). The rugged landscape displays a complex historical and archaeological significance, incorporating the boundary of the world heritage St Just mining district and Iron Age field system.

Foster Lomas were commissioned to replace an existing 1950s bungalow with a two-story residence. The development of the building evolved from a survey of early pagan sites in the area evidenced by ancient standing stones, locally known as ‘Quoits’. The practice’s meticulous survey of the land deepened their understanding of how history, both pre-historic and more recently mining, has unfolded over the years leaving its indelible mark scored into the landscape’s typography.

The building is articulated through three distinct forms which act as structural supports referencing the vernacular building vocabulary; the pronounced chimney stack, the curved granite newel stairs, and distinctive post-tensioned solid granite roof. The use of granite structures is common in West Penwith and sourced locally.

Referencing medieval buildings of the local area, the house has a cruciform plan and the main living space is placed on the first floor level with the bedrooms snugly placed on the ground floor. This positioning allows for the panoramic view of Portheras Cove and the sea from the living room.

Foster Lomas see their responsibility of building within an expansive time frame. They have explored articulations of the house with a view to a distant future when the structure will return back to the earth, adding to the long history of monumental prehistoric burial grounds in the locality, hence the building’s name ‘Long View.’

The granting of planning permission for Long View has the ability to rewrite local planning policy, and offer a progressive reading of the landscape, with a long-term sustainable impact on the local architectural language.