Pictures Bruce Hemming
Rachael Dickens http://rachaeldickens.co.uk/index.html studied at Goldsmiths and has been a practising artist as well as a dealer of 20th century furniture and objects. She bought what was a very unprepossessing bungalow at Reculver, which appealed because of its proximity to the beach where she could swim year round. The first step was to build what is now her studio in the garden as a temporary home while the work on the main building was carried out. However as the old bungalow was stripped of asbestos it became apparent that the structure was dilapidated to the point of being unrecoverable. She contacted local architect Michael Shoobridge of Parashoot Architects who designed this simple single bedroomed structure with maximum light and open space. It also acknowledges Rachael’s wild swimming with ‘wet’ access from the deck to a hot tub and the ground floor bathroom.
Rachael says that she planned the bathroom to have the feel of a submarine using old valves, gauges and copper tubing that are practical as well as decorative. The boarding is made out of old potato boxes from local farms and a hinged lid conceals the bath and acts as a bench when closed. The Ladderax shelving system belonged to her parents and she has also collected Mid Century pieces of furniture and lighting. The Laughing Cow sign was collected during a trip to Morocco in her VW camper. To keep costs down many of the interior surfaces were clad in marine birch ply and then colour washed.