A new development of exclusive lodges on the coast of St Ives, Cornwall required a low maintenance, high quality finish that would withstand the types of weather experienced on the coast
Nestled within the 72-acre Tregenna Estate, Castle Approach, is a new development offering stunning views over St Ives Bay and the peaceful grounds of the estate gardens. The original Tregenna Castle at the centre of the estate was built in 1774 as a 12-bedroom private home. In 1878, one year after the Great Western Railway opened its St Ives branch line, the castle began its new life as a hotel.
Now a Grade II listed building, Tregenna Castle Resort boasts 99 bedrooms, six private event spaces, gym and golf course.
Defining the design requirements
The lodges at Castle Approach have been under construction since 2008. The architect, Mike Bradbury of Mike Bradbury Designs, designed the properties, and wanted to make the most of the coastal location.
The lodges are positioned in a crescent shape to provide residents with sea views. Each lodge is built using a timber frame system with a masonry ground floor structure. The whole structure is then rendered. Mike chose white render to provide a contrast between the dark stained timber frame, the anthracite grey windows and the slate roof.
“It was important that we used a render that would withstand the elements over time, particularly as we had chosen such a light-coloured render,” said Mike. “Being by the coast and surrounded by trees, we wanted to prevent algae growth and discolouration on the render.”
The building work has been completed in phases and to date, six lodges have been completed, with four more close to completion.
Withstanding the weather
After the first three properties were completed, Tregenna looked to change the original render system that was installed so approached Nigel Smitheram, the area sales executive at the local Jewsons.
“The developer wasn’t entirely happy with their original choice of render system,” said Nigel. “As a high-end development, the quality of the final finish was very important to them, so they asked me to help find an alternative system. Tregenna was very clear that they wanted a system that delivered on aesthetics and weather resilience. That’s when I reached out to Saint-Gobain Weber.”
Phillip Powell, regional applications manager at Saint-Gobain Weber, is part of the technical team that has been supporting Tregenna Estates during the construction of the lodges.
“We recommended that the applicator used weberend MT, a BBA approved system for use on render board systems. It incorporates weberend LAC, a lightweight base-coat render, meshcloth reinforcement and a decorative finish of webersil TF,” said Phillip. “This combination of products is particularly suitable for this project as the weberend LAC is polymer-modified which allows some flexibility, a necessity for timber frame systems. Using this with the webersil TF, a silicone based textured finish, makes it much more resistant to the type of weather experienced in these coastal areas.
“For each property, an initial 3mm pass of weberend LAC was applied, followed by meshcloth reinforcement and then a second 3mm pass. A coat of weber PR310, a render primer, was used before applying a final finish of webersil TF in Winter White.”
The final finish
The technical team at Saint-Gobain Weber stayed in touch with team at Tregenna Estate throughout the construction of each lodge. Saint-Gobain Weber also sourced one of its local recommended installers, Daniel Fish of DMF Plastering, to ensure the products were applied correctly using best practise methods.
Neal Peek, contracts manager at Tregenna Estate, said:
“From the moment they stepped on site, the service provided by the Weber application team has been brilliant. They are always on hand with technical advice and have visited the site regularly since they first got involved in the project back in 2015.”
“We’re pleased with the products. Even when you visit the development now, the first few houses built using Weber’s system look the same as the new builds.”
In 2020, Tregenna Estates hopes to start work on the remaining two properties
After working with the Tregenna Estate on this project, Saint-Gobain Weber also donated some of its render products to the local surfing school charity, Board Riders, to refurbish a disused council building in St. Ives