Woodpeckers

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Location: Private

Client: Private

Project Year: 2015

Cost: N/A

“Woodpeckers” is a replacement house on a rural site on the edge of the New Forest National Park, completed in January 2016.

The design for the house, which is to be used mainly as holiday home, is constrained by planning issues that to some extent dictated the built footprint and its position on the site. Very tight size restrictions forced the design to push windows to the outside of the envelope, not allowing any overhangs which would be included in an area calculation, therefore reducing the actual built area. However, within the allowable area, there are provisions for inclusion of a conservatory, and one challenge was how to successfully integrate this with architecture devoid of the normal connotations of a lean-to structure.

The very simple building is also driven by economics of construction. The superstructure is a simple timber frame structure that will be pre-fabricated allowing a short erection time on site. Spans as well as the width of the house are decided by the performance restrictions of standard timber truss components. Fenestration is generated by floor to ceiling gaps in the timber façade.

The house sits on a platform that will create a terrace to the south and the east. This platform connects with a masonry chimney-breast that provides both internal and external fireplaces. The platform, being raised slightly off the ground, allows a level connection between inside and outside terraces as well as raises the house off the ground, which in the winter months can be quite wet.

The house is finished in untreated larch cladding that weathers to a slivery grey.

Photography by Luke Hayes.

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