Status: Under Construction
Location: Plumpton, East Sussex
Client: Private
Value: Confidential
Area: 250sq/m

RAW is working on a new build, single storey, concrete ‘bunker’ home for a young family on a rural site in East Sussex. The design examines how the building will feel. ‘Dead’ acoustics, dark corners, sunken spaces, secret routes, a sense of mass, and the interplay of light and dark formed the main areas of exploration during concept design. Tower Houses and Concrete Bunkers containing desirable characteristics such as solidity; permanence; simple external form, sculptural internal form; inhabited mass; use of a single material; a sense of adventure and the spirit of sanctuary; became strong reference points throughout the process.

The proposal consists of a series of cast in situ concrete blocks surrounding an internal central courtyard. Numerous openings, fissures, cavities and volumes have been carved out of the mass to create a series of overlapping routes and spaces which undulate across the site. Oblique openings providing contrasting levels of indirect daylight and sunlight into each of the spaces have been designed to remind the occupant what the weather is doing, rather than provide framed views and direct connections to the garden and environment beyond.


The inclusion of locally extracted chalk into the mix of concrete ‘ingredients’ was prototyped to achieve a lighter, whiter pigmentation, which is being paired with a basic formwork to create dark, dense and dramatic spaces for discovery throughout the building. We have also established a working relationship with Cemex [] who are providing a number of advanced concrete types for use in the construction. The occupants and Cemex are treating the building as a case study to test a new self compacting fibre reinforced concrete, and to see what can be achieved with exposed concrete within an extremely tight budget.