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A Sense of Harmony

Inspiration – derived from Cornwall’s stunning landscape, rich culture and the ever changing seascape.

With some justification, when the term ‘new build’ is mentioned, it conjures up images of small, white boxes on hillsides – bright and bland against the natural beauty of countryside and coast. However, in such a remarkable setting as Cornwall, why not incorporate the natural aesthetics into the design of a dream home, one that harmonises rather than jars with the landscape? Essentially, this is what Watershedd do – yielding breathtakingly unique results, time after time.

Watershedd was born from a love of the Cornish way of life and surrounding natural beauty. One can only imagine the excited evenings filled with animated conversations between founders Adam Casey, Poppy Trevillion and Marzouk Al-Bader as they envisioned the future of this fascinating company. “From the outset, we knew we wanted to focus on Cornwall because we felt there was a real demand for high-end, design-led architects here, but we didn’t know how long it would take to get the brand recognised and established in Cornwall,” explains Adam, founder and RIBA registered architect. 

The team had recognised something in Cornwall that had been missed – a shining opportunity for a team of skilled architects and designers to seize. Adam elaborates: “We saw a lot of interest in high-quality, contemporary holiday homes in Cornwall, but a fairly limited supply of luxury houses. We also saw potential in the available plots of land and an opportunity to make a statement with our design and architecture. It was clear that if given the chance to work on some of these houses in Cornwall, we could significantly impact the design and quality of homes being built.”

With a vision of introducing a fresh approach to architecture and interior design in Cornwall – design-led with an emphasis on providing a first-class service – Watershedd is shaking things up in the Duchy. “Cornwall is a beautiful place with many people taking home very happy memories. We didn’t want our architecture or design to corrupt this view, if anything we wanted to enhance it. Often, people think of contemporary architecture as white rendered boxes or curved buildings that stand out against the landscape and feel out of place. We wanted to use natural, local materials where possible, with an emphasis on respecting Cornish heritage. We’ve found that using a darker material palette can help blend buildings with the local granite-built structures, such as Cornish hedges, farmsteads and engine houses as well as the free-standing stones.”

Marrying this idea with 21st Century functionality is a top priority for the Watershedd team. Adam continues, “We wanted to capture the beach lifestyle in our homes and take into consideration how people use these houses by the coast. Many of our clients either surf, cold water swim, or enjoy long coastal walks, so we felt it important to create open-plan living spaces where the whole family can come together after engaging in these activities.”

“Design should be beautiful, practical, and functional for the way we live. Our architecture reflects nature and the rugged landscape in its details and use of materials. We aim to use local materials, such as sustainably produced timber cladding or locally sourced Cornish stone, which can be reused repeatedly. It’s very satisfying to reuse stone from the original house or garden to re-invent the new property.”

Working closely with each client, Watershedd has an undeniable talent for creating a detailed vision that might have been difficult to imagine without a team of experts and then bringing it into the world as a beautiful home. “Building or refurbishing your home can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming without the right team and advice. We wanted to take the stress out of construction and allow our clients to focus on design and ultimately enjoy their new home.”

“One of the first things we do on a project is visit the site and take in the surroundings. The context and landscape inform our design process from the outset. Every site is different and comes with its own set of challenges, which excites us. There is nothing better than visiting a new site, listening to a new client and formulating a brief and an outline design based on our discussions.”

Cornwall’s unique lifestyle and culture attract people for many reasons – amazing restaurants, beautiful scenery and some of the best surfing in the UK. It’s a special place. No wonder that most of Watershedd’s clients want to spend as much time as possible on the peninsula. “Whatever draws our clients to Cornwall, we try to design this into the properties we create; family spaces, surfboard rooms, home cinemas – those small luxuries that make a house unique. The spaces we create express our shared love of the sea and coastal lifestyle. Cornwall is a place for creating lasting memories and there is a sense of nostalgia from past holidays and experiences. We try to create architecture that caters to these nostalgic moments while providing a space for new memories to be made.”

“There is no feeling quite like handing over the keys at the end of a build and realising the months, even years, of planning, designing and building have come to fruition,” admits Adam. Like every other property in Watershedd’s unique portfolio, there is an enchanting sense of synchronicity between the property and its surroundings, creating a bespoke dream home perfectly embedded in the wilds of Cornwall. They do not see themselves as traditional architects, more a lifestyle brand and creative agency specialising in residential architecture and interiors. Our focus on design and the creativity in the studio has led us to work on projects from large hotel complexes to small individual pieces of furniture. We are even developing our own range of homewares which we are excited to be able to share in the near future.”

Adam concludes: “Over the years as the company has developed, we have been lucky enough to work with some amazing clients and build a portfolio of projects in Cornwall and around the UK. We initially started out with a focus on Cornwall, but we soon gathered a lot of interest from further afield and now have projects all over, including some in Costa Rica and Portugal. Our studio in London has been pivotal in this, creating a central creative space for us to design in the studio, whilst delivering projects in Cornwall and across the UK. 

“Working with Watershedd is more than just engaging an architect or interior designer to offer professional services, we consider it more as a journey that we take with our clients. Understanding the lifestyle and ambition for each project and then working collaboratively to deliver the scheme, whether it is a large new build or small refurbishment, every project is unique.”


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