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A Place for Dreaming: An Elemental and Sustainably Built Retreat in Cornwall by SASA Works

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A Place for Dreaming: An Elemental and Sustainably Built Retreat in Cornwall by SASA Works

April 19, 2024

We’ve long admired the artful approach of SASA Works, a workshop-based architecture practice out of London’s Hackney neighborhood headed by polymath Craig Bamford and artist Isik Sayarer. Bamford, whose background in metalwork, jewelry, carpentry, and architecture, explores the poetics of space through elemental buildings, sitting lightly on the earth with often locally-sourced and reclaimed materials. In the construction of the Carrick retreat, a 300-square foot outbuilding on the grounds of an old house in Cornwall, traditional techniques and sustainable materials come together in a “healing and creative space,” a multi-purpose workspace, dance, and painter’s studio. “We were inspired to create a nest that welcomed the elements in: the moon, the sun, the trees, the water. As a place for dreaming. A place that in its proportion and raw materiality created a healing energy and a permission to just be,” Bamford explains.

Photography by Michele Panzeri where noted, all images courtesy of SASA Works.

the wood structure sits on a foundation of reclaimed granite pad stones and the 17
Above: The wood structure sits on a foundation of reclaimed granite pad stones and the building is clad is European and Cornish oak from the external walls to the traditional roof tiles. Photograph by Michele Panzeri courtesy of SASA Works.

The property overlooks a tidal creek in Cornwall, situated among a glade of five grand yew trees. The brief was to create a healing space for the clients, a counselor and an artist, as a place to dance, create, and meditate; “a place to connect with a time out of time,” the designers explain.

a moon portal window protrudes from the mid roof line allowing for the diffusio 18
Above: A moon portal window protrudes from the mid-roof line allowing for the diffusion of sunlight and, on occasion, aligns with the moon. Photograph by Michele Panzeri courtesy of SASA Works.
the skeleton of the structure was created from an exposed cruck frame construct 19
Above: The skeleton of the structure was created from an exposed cruck frame constructed from green oak wood using a traditional technique which utilizes the natural curve of the tree. Once assembled, the frame was left out on the land to be exposed to the elements for six months “imbuing it with a powerful and innate sense of its surrounding area,” Bamford describes. Photograph by Michele Panzeri courtesy of SASA Works.
the brass ceiling lights were made by bamford to create a gentle glow by reflec 20
Above: The brass ceiling lights were made by Bamford to create a gentle glow by reflecting golden light up into the pitch of the roof. Photograph by Michele Panzeri courtesy of SASA Works.
the suspended floor is constructed from reclaimed pitch pine that was once hous 21
Above: The suspended floor is constructed from reclaimed pitch pine that was once housed in Bodmin Town Hall.
&#8\2\20;the oak roof tiles are hand split in a traditional way. in splitti 22
Above: “The oak roof tiles are hand split in a traditional way. In splitting them, they last much longer than if they were cut since they follow the grain of the wood,” Bamford describes. “These types of tiles have been known to last for 80 years. They patina with time in a beautiful way as they naturally change color with the air, sun, waters, and winds.”
details of the external oak walls and a view of the exposed cruck frame in the  23
Above: Details of the external oak walls and a view of the exposed cruck frame in the interior. Photograph by Michele Panzeri courtesy of SASA Works.
a view of the building situated near the creek on the edge of the grounds. phot 24
Above: A view of the building situated near the creek on the edge of the grounds. Photograph by Michele Panzeri courtesy of SASA Works.

For more from SASA Works see our previous posts:

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