Chestnut Farm is nestled within a secluded woodland clearing, in the depths of the historic New Forest National Park. The site gently slopes away offering views over a natural pond and surrounding woodland. Capturing the uniqueness of this rural setting was a key design consideration and how this home became rooted to the particularity of its place.
PAD studio was responsible for designing a series of buildings and landscape interventions on site; the main home, working stables, workshop as well as a vegetable garden and outdoor kitchen. The location of each was carefully planned to foster and enliven links and dialogue between the structures whilst also taking advantage of the site to create both intimate and expansive views from the home.
Due to planning restrictions on the site this permanent home had to be designed to confirm with the UK 1968 Caravan Act which states it must be movable by road, can be no longer than 20m long, 6.8m wide and 3.096 high. The key to this projects success was to take these limitations and turn them into design opportunities.
The strategy for the house was to create a contemporary, low lying building crafted from local materials, helping the building harmonise with this beautiful location whilst minimising the impact to the surroundings. The home is clad in UK Sweet Chestnut, which in time weathers to a beautiful silver hue - the verticality of the timber echoing the surrounding woodland.
Created from two single storey rectangular forms shifted out of alignment, the two are connected by a removable glass walkway with the space between creating a sheltered and private decked area. The elevated deck offers tranquil and ever-changing views of the natural surroundings, a southerly orientation captures the sun throughout the year. Raised above the earth on removable piles, the home touches the ground lightly, floating above the wild landscaping in which it is immersed. Part of the client brief was to create a minimal impact home that could be removed from site in future, returning the location back to its original undeveloped state.
Designed to be flexible each of the rectangular forms can work as part of one integrated home connected by the walkway, or as two independent aspects. The western form houses the main living spaces and enjoys a generous open plan kitchen/living room with a full glazed wall at one end. The eastern building is predominately designed to house the bedrooms but also incorporates a kitchenette and snug living room space. The master bedroom is located at the southern end, enjoying full height picture windows and direct access to the secluded decked terrace.
Prefabricated and constructed off-site nearby, using local craftsmen and materials, resulting in a beautifully made, totally bespoke home. Constructed to PassivHaus standards, creating warm, air tight and highly insulated dwelling which is exceptionally energy efficient. Triple glazing and solar PV panels have been installed, whilst rainwater harvesting ensures the building remains low impact during its life.