Wednesday, May 24, 2023

As showcased on a recent episode of Channel 4’s Grand Designs, CUPA PIZARRAS’ CUPA 12 natural slate has been specified for a spectacular new build project in Chichester. Selected to enhance the property’s modern aesthetic, the slate roof also complements the rural surroundings, which include a wildlife pond along with a variety of plant life.

Property owners Daniel and Nina Rowland both work professionally within the construction sector; Daniel heads up architectural firm Studio Fuse, while Nina is an interior designer. Combining their skills, they decided the time was right to embark on a new adventure; leaving London to design and build their own home on the South Coast of England.

They purchased a period property that happened to back onto a stagnant pond, which consisted of local drainage overflow. Daniel and Nina put together a design that would see the old house demolished and a new building constructed. Likewise, the pond was to be transformed into a crystal-clear natural swimming pond – a highly ambitious undertaking. Ideally, this would attract local wildlife, such as frogs, newts and sparrows, resulting in a beautiful waterside home.

In terms of the design of the new-build property, the couple wanted the house to be eco-friendly and have a contemporary, spacious and natural aesthetic. It was to be built from structural insulated panels (SIPs) clad in Siberian larch and flint, with large glass windows. Timber decking would then connect the house to the natural swimming pond.

When it came to the roofing, Daniel commented: “We considered using a standard seam metal roof but we went with slate to compliment the natural material palette we have used throughout the rest of the house.”

Darren Stigant, Director at NJS Roofing, the roofing contractor on the project made the product recommendation: “I suggested CUPA PIZARRAS’ CUPA 12 slate. Having sourced products from the company many times in the past, it is my go-to when it comes to slate roofing. I really like the way CUPA 12 lays, and it requires minimal sorting and grading, which simplifies the process significantly. What’s more, it’s very good value for money, providing a really impressive finish.”

However, due to the style of the roof, the installation had its challenges. Darren explained: “It was an intricate job as there were several different roofs at different pitches, so we had to cut down the slates to shape. We also used the smaller size slates to cover the gaps around the battens, ensuring a smooth, neat finish.”

CUPA 12 is a non-carbonated slate that is formed by tectonic compression, giving the product a smooth, matt surface. The dark grey colour provided an effective contrast with the timber and glass. The CUPA 12 natural slate is also high performing with outstanding weather resistance, as it has been tested to achieve a water absorption rate of 0.11% and a rating of T1 in thermal cycle tests. Thus, making it a long-lasting product with a functional life expectancy of 100 years.

What’s more, not only is CUPA PIZARRAS officially a carbon neutral company, but CUPA 12 has also been assessed and certified by BRE Global, solidifying itself as a sustainable choice and bolstering the environmental credentials of Daniel and Nina’s new home. 

Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs commented: “This design joins together nature and architecture – in every sense it’s beautiful.”

Daniel and Nina were delighted with the house and the CUPA PIZARRAS roof, “The slate is consistent in its appearance, which compliments a more modern build, but it still has a soft natural aesthetic. We are very happy with the finished roof and would highly recommend CUPA PIZARRAS slate to others. It is great quality, and our roofer loved working with it.”

To find out more about CUPA PIZARRAS range of natural slates, including CUPA 12, please visit:

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