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PAD Studio reveals New Forest Passivhaus mobile home

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This £300,000 mobile home in Hampshire has ’a feeling of solidity, serenity and permanence’, according to architect PAD Studio

ARCHITECT’S VIEW • PROJECT DATA • PLANS • SECTIONS  

The 2014 Stephen Lawrence Prize-shortlisted practice built the home to comply with the Caravan Act 1968 which restricted both the construction and size of the dwelling. 

The clients had been living in a static caravan on the New Forest National Park site for 15 years and they wanted a new, low energy home that no longer felt like a caravan. 

The new 120m² home uses the level change in the site to make the building feel as if it is floating in the landscape projecting over a limestone plinth. 

While three of the project’s walls are clad in vertical panels of dark stained sweet chestnut, the fourth west facing wall is completely glazed and opens out onto a large terrace. 

Built to Passivhaus standards, the low-energy house incorporates a photovoltaic array, an air source heat pump and its own sewage treatment plant. 

The pre-fabricated home was built off site and craned into position in two pieces. 

Forest Lodge by PAD Studio

Forest Lodge by PAD Studio

Source: Nigel Rigden

Architect’s view 

This particular site, located at the edge of a clearing in the heart of the New Forest is accessed from a long gravel track that slowly revealed views of the existing property. This journey through the landscape became a generating idea for the new home which continues the route, inviting nature into the home through carefully placed window openings. These large apertures focus and frame the stunning views, displaying them internally as if paintings on large canvases. 

Approaching from the east, the house is glimpsed and slowly revealed through mature trees. The trees verticality and the texture of their bark are echoed in a variety of timber treatments used on the homes cladding. Vertical panels of dark stained sweet chestnut provide a rhythm to counterpoint unstained horizontal chestnut cladding that wraps and unifies the whole. By utilising a gradual level change across the site, the architects have allowed the northern end of the home to float above the landscape, resting and projecting dynamically over a limestone plinth. The western wall of the property is almost completely glazed affording a feeling of light and spaciousness and opens onto a large terrace and lawn beyond. 

Internally, the material pallet is restrained and natural with oak, limestone and white panelled walls. This deliberately muted array of materials provides a backdrop which is painted by the forest’s changing light and rendered by the colour of the landscape beyond the building. Architect-designed locally crafted bespoke joinery, thoughtful details and connection with the landscape give this home a feeling of solidity, serenity and permanence; far removed from the client’s previous home.

Location plan

Location plan

Location plan

Site plan

Site plan

Site plan

Ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

Sections

Section AA

Section AA

Section BB

Section BB

Project data

Location New Forest National Park
Type of project domestic new build mobile dwelling 
Client private
Architect PAD studio
Landscape architect PAD studio
Planning consultant PURE Town Planning
Structural engineer SIPS industries
M&E consultant Catfoss Group
Lighting consultant Joe Burke
Main contractor Catfoss Group
Appointment word of mouth
Completion date Spring 2015
Contract duration 18 weeks (factory build)
Gross internal floor area 120m²
Form of contract negotiated JCT minor works
Total cost £300,000 

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