February 25, 2019

How One Couple Restored a Historical WWII Radar Bunker

by Amanda Cade

For those of you who’ve watched the British TV show “Grand Designs” you may be familiar with Lincoln Miles and Lisa’s Traxler's work. Over the years they’ve been featured on the show for a couple architectural design projects on the Isle of Wight. We were fortunate enough to catch up with them and take a tour inside their most recent project: The Bunker.

Videography by: Nick Meilleur

Lincoln Miles & Lisa Traxler //
Isle of Wight, England

One ferry ride from Portsmouth and miles of beautiful, windy roads later we arrived at The Bunker. The first impression of the dwelling is striking: the home is half submerged under a hillock, complete with a living roof. True to to its name, The Bunker is built around a WWII radar bunker that was left in ruin after the war.

 

Lincoln Miles & Lisa Traxler //
Isle of Wight, England

One ferry ride from Portsmouth and miles of beautiful, windy roads later we arrived at The Bunker. The first impression of the dwelling is striking: the home is half submerged under a hillock, complete with a living roof. True to to its name, The Bunker is built around a WWII radar bunker that was left in ruin after the war.

 

The Location

Lincoln Miles is a true advocate of our material and has been experimenting with it for years. After their appearance on "Grand Designs" the couple often had unannounced visitors vying for a peek of their original home, Tane. This time around, Lincoln and Lisa wanted to ensure a sense of privacy in their new space. The signature feature of the house, what Lincoln calls “fins”, are a camouflage exterior cladding that projects out at an angle from the building. The fins feature Lisa’s beautiful “Dazzle” abstract designs. From a practical standpoint, they provide privacy from the street while allowing unobstructed views of the picturesque landscape.

The Location

Lincoln Miles is a true advocate of our material and has been experimenting with it for years. After their appearance on "Grand Designs" the couple often had unannounced visitors vying for a peek of their original home, Tane. This time around, Lincoln and Lisa wanted to ensure a sense of privacy in their new space. The signature feature of the house, what Lincoln calls “fins”, are a camouflage exterior cladding that projects out at an angle from the building. The fins feature Lisa’s beautiful “Dazzle” abstract designs. From a practical standpoint, they provide privacy from the street while allowing unobstructed views of the picturesque landscape.

What’s most interesting about the fins, from a design perspective, is that there are no screws, bolts or nails involved. The fins are slotted into the siding with no mechanical fixings but the core strength of the Richlite material itself. They've even weathered up to 100mph winds without budging! Lincoln is always putting our material to the ultimate test.

What’s most interesting about the fins, from a design perspective, is that there are no screws, bolts or nails involved. The fins are slotted into the siding with no mechanical fixings but the core strength of the Richlite material itself. They've even weathered up to 100mph winds without budging! Lincoln is always putting our material to the ultimate test.

Passionate about history, Lisa was immediately captivated with this once and a lifetime opportunity to restore the original radar bunker. Through her research on WWII she discovered various camouflages used by the British during the war: among them the Royal Navy’s “dazzle” camouflage which inspires much of her work.

Lincoln and Lisa worked together to design the Dazzle Staircase and fins. The staircase is a beautiful combination of visual art and functional design. Lincoln used his engineering expertise to make a cantilever staircase out of Richlite; a world first. Meanwhile, Lisa created the abstract Dazzle pattern that was CNC’d into the staircase structure. The Bunker is a true collaborative project between these two and it really shows.

Lincoln and Lisa worked together to design the Dazzle Staircase and fins. The staircase is a beautiful combination of visual art and functional design. Lincoln used his engineering expertise to make a cantilever staircase out of Richlite; a world first. Meanwhile, Lisa created the abstract Dazzle pattern that was CNC’d into the staircase structure. The Bunker is a true collaborative project between these two and it really shows.

Chocolate Glacier Richlite applied to exterior cladding (fins), staircase, kitchen counters, front door, built in TV shelf, interior cladding in bathroom, door frames and window sills.

Images by Julian Winslow provided by Lincoln Miles & Lisa Traxler.

Music credits for video: Dirty Art Club - Hemlock and hnrk - Mantarochen