The Quest by Strom Architects

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Location: Swanage, United Kingdom

Year: 2016


Architects: Ström Architects – Magnus Ström & Emma Ward-Lambert

Structural Engineer: Barton Engineers & Calcinotto Consulting Engineers

QS: Stockdale

Contractor:  Matrod Frampton Ltd.

Landscape Architect: Ross Allan Designs

Photography: Martin Gardner & Michael Sinclair

“The Quest” is a replacement dwelling in Swanage, UK. Planning permission was granted in early 2014, and the project was completed in January 2016.

The site is heavily wooded and enjoys a beautiful southerly aspect with a view over the Durlston Country Park. Early on, we established the advantages of a single-storey building; it would suit the retired clients’ future needs, give an elegant solution to the steeply sloped site and allow a simple arrangement of spaces. At the same time, the design reduces the visual impact from across the valley when looking back towards the house and helped the scheme from a planning point of view.

The sloping site – with protected mature trees – very much dictated the positioning of the dwelling. Access is via the front of the property, so we made use of a retaining wall, faced in local Purbeck stone, to define different levels and visually mask the vehicular route, maintaining a clear view from the living spaces across the valley.

The single-storey house cantilevers over the retaining wall to deal with the level changes and views. The large cantilever has been achieved through two concrete planes: the floor and roof acting together like a space beam. The concrete structure is then in-filled with simple timber dry-lining, leaving the concrete frame visible externally.

The house exemplifies our belief that simplicity and honesty of construction underlie good design. The initial concept and design drivers are instantly recognisable in the building, and we strive to retain this clarity of intent without adding anything unnecessary to the building. We think carefully about how we build our buildings and work closely with our engineers to ensure an architecture founded in such basic things such as structure, details, materials and order.

Strom Architects















Strom Architects

Ström Architects is an award-winning, contemporary boutique architecture practice in Hampshire.

The practice was founded in New Forest by Magnus Ström in 2010.


Magnus Ström, Director 

Magnus came from Sweden to study architecture at Portsmouth University in 1995, graduating at the top of his class with a first in his BA (Hons) Degree, and winning two awards for degree projects. After working for a time in London and Winchester, he continued his studies and gained a Distinction in his Diploma. He also received the post-graduate RIBA South Region Award for outstanding design work, and was nominated for the RIBA Silver Medal.

After graduating, Magnus joined the esteemed Dublin practice deBlacam & Meagher Architects where he worked for a year. He was then invited to join John Pardey Architects in 2002 South England where he spent 8 years – latterly as a Director of the practice. His work included residential, educational and commercial projects – both for private and public sector clients. He was responsible for the conception and design of numerous private houses, as well as running several large-scale, mixed-use projects in London, Dublin and the USA.

Ström Architects was formed in 2010, and is an award-winning boutique architects’ practice, focusing on one-off contemporary residential projects in the UK and abroad.



Ström Architects Limited
Unit 4, The Old Printworks
85b High Street
Hampshire, SO41 9AN

Telephone: +44 01590 677 442


VISIT Ström Architects




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