The Palms

Introducing our most recently finished project, The Palms. Situated in the parish of St Brelade with stunning views over St Ouen’s bay, from Corbiere lighthouse to L’Etacq this project is all about the vista!


The original property started life as a double garage that was then converted into a one-bedroom property.


Finally, it was extended upwards by the previous owners to create a two bedroom upside-down house, making the best use of the rooms.


The existing property was to be renovated and extend to the rear, into the sand dune, creating a larger living space, Master suite, study, games room and large garage. The entrance to the property was also addressed, replacing an existing conservatory and creating a grand entrance and a fourth bedroom.


What made the project the most challenging was the listed status of the property. Unusually, it wasn’t the building that was listed, but the lawn.


Rare orchids that grow in only two locations globally were found within the lawn. Licences needed to be obtained in order to move the orchids, and a large fine could occur if any were killed.


The orchids themselves are very small and can hibernate for up to two years, making the method of moving and maintaining them difficult.


Bruce Labey Landscape Architects worked with the Eric Young Orchid Association and Kew Gardens to design a method to remove the orchids from the build area, store them on site and then plant the orchids onto the extension roof.


This is a worldwide first, and will be used globally as an approved method since it has proven so successful.



The design is focused on the views, on creating a low maintenance property and including some environmental aspects. At the entrance we designed the roof to project over the driveway to create a sheltered area for accessing the house. Internally, we designed a feature staircase that leads you up into the older part of the house. The entrance hall area is illuminated through a walk on roof light and sidelights either side of the main door.




Walk on roof lights were included in the new terrace to ensure that even the underground rooms and hallway are flooded with light.


Feature Staircase

Feature Staircase

The main staircase was designed to be a sinuous ribbon winding its way to the first floor. A lantern above the stairwell floods hallway with light, all the way down to the underground hallway on the ground floor. The cowl on the lantern opens to allow ventilation, creating a stack effect by drawing the hot air up through the house and out of the lantern.


We ensured that all the windows in the existing building were replaced with triple glazed units, and the extension included wall-to-wall sliding doors in the new living room, master bedroom and en-suite.



Living room

Living room



The original living room was converted into a modern kitchen and dining area with the focal point being a double sided wood burning stove.


The pool terrace was also renovated to create a modern seating area, with an outdoor fireplace and poolside shower.


During the excavation of the sand dune the builders came across an outcrop of granite, this was sorted and stored and then used for the dry-stone cladding on the extension. This achieved the effect of the building growing out of the sand dune, which is aided by the green roof blending into the dune behind.


Recycled composite cladding and decking was specified to clad the original building and the new entrance extension. This fulfilled the client’s wish for a low maintenance property, as it will never need to be stained as traditional timber cladding would.


Permeable paving was also used in the driveway, to remove the need for extensive drainage and creating a more sustainable method for water management. Over 75% of the rain water from the property is harvested and stored in rainwater recycling tanks for use in landscape irrigation.


With this project we have shown that you can create a beautiful house which respects its context and is low impact on both the environment and the eye, yet celebrates the amazing views over St Ouen’s Bay. We greatly enjoyed the challenge that this project set and the collaboration with the Clients which lead to a successful conclusion to this project.


Image copyright from Andy Le Gresley and Anna Powell