Don’t be fooled by its sim­ple ex­te­rior. This re­mote pump house in the wilds of Dun­geness, Kent con­ceals a slick, stylish home

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Architecture -

This enig­matic, sin­gle-storey con­crete-framed for­mer Coast­guard Tower was built in 1941 as one of a num­ber of sim­ple struc­tures used to house equip­ment for Op­er­a­tion Pluto – the World War II mis­sion to pump fuel un­der the sea to sup­port the D-day land­ings. The Pump Sta­tion, along with neigh­bour­ing build­ings, was built to look like a house or fish­er­man’s shed to avoid at­ten­tion. Later, it was used as a Sun­day School and Mis­sion Church, as well as form­ing a home for a ma­sonic lodge known as The Buf­faloes.

Af­ter it fell into dis­use, in­te­rior ar­chi­tect Fiona Nay­lor ( left) and her late hus­band, renowned pho­tog­ra­pher Peter Mar­low, spot­ted the po­ten­tial of The Pump Sta­tion and pur­chased it with the am­bi­tious aim of con­vert­ing it to res­i­den­tial use. Nay­lor’s de­sign re­spects the spe­cial set­ting and unique his­tory of this build­ing, which re­tains its util­i­tar­ian façade, con­ceal­ing the com­fort­able in­te­rior within. Here, the raw feel of the con­crete cof­fered ceil­ing and con­crete walls is tem­pered by warmer el­e­ments, in­clud­ing the tim­ber floors. The fire­place forms a key fo­cal point for the largely open­plan liv­ing space, com­plete with seat­ing and din­ing ar­eas, and a kitchen. Two bed­rooms and bath­rooms are sit­u­ated at the other end of the house, which is now shared with rent­ing guests, who are reg­u­larly drawn to this mes­meris­ing sea­side spot on the South Coast. john­son­nay­

Nay­lor’s de­sign re­spects the spe­cial set­ting and the unique his­tory of this build­ing, which re­tains its aus­tere util­i­tar­ian façade

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