Holder Mathias has completed a third set of environmentally friendly timber cabins for Forest Holidays
The 76 holidays homes in the Forest of Dean are the latest to have been built to the practice’s designs, having already worked on 14 units in Argyll, Scotland (see below) and 21 units in Cropton, on the North York Moors.
The 13-hectare site forms part of a £60 million investment programme, which will add a further 613 units across the UK, and is the largest development to date for Forest Holidays - a joint venture between the Forestry Commission and The Camping and Caravaning Club.
Peter Gamble, managing director of Holder Mathias, said: ‘Our major challenge was to design next-generation, high-quality, sustainable holiday cabins within realistic commercial constraints that would bring customers back, time after time.’
‘These designs provide open, light, internal spaces that will connect our guests to the flora, fauna and wildlife around them, while blending in with the surrounding woodland. As the cabins meet BREEAM Excellent & Code 4 for Sustainable Homes, these really do set the standard for sustainability in holiday cabins.’
Holder Mathias was commissioned by Forest Holidays in 2007 to develop a new generation of holiday cabins to be rolled out over the next ten years, and planning consent has already been secured at sites in Sherwood Forest and Glenmore, Scotland, along with the expansion of an existing site at Cropton, Yorkshire. The practice is also engaged in supporting Forest Holidays in its masterplanning on other sites within the Forestry Commission estate.
The cabins have been designed to give guests a ‘back-to-nature’ experience, and take advantage of the site’s natural settings, with open living spaces featuring large glazed windows. All of the cabins have been built on stilts over the woodland floor to reduce disruption to local flora and fauna, and low impact piling has been used to reduce the effect on tree roots.
Previous story (AJ 15.12.09)
First look: Holder Mathias’ Scottish holiday homes
The first in a new series of holiday homes designed by Holder Mathias have opened in Scotland
The homes, part of a £40 million investment from leisure company Forest Holidays, will total 800 units across the UK.
Peter Gamble, managing director of Holder Mathias, said: ‘Forest Holidays was created in the 1960s out of a demand from the public to stay in Forestry Commission sites.
‘The cabins set a new standard in design and an exemplar in sustainability for the sector while remaining a realistic commercial investment in this competitive market.’
The first of the new designs are located at Forest Holiday’s site in Argyll, Scotland which was opened by Scotland’s Environment Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, on October 6.
Planning consent has been secured at sites in the Forest of Dean, Sherwood Forest and Glenmore in Scotland, along with the expansion of an existing site at Cropton in Yorkshire.
The cabins aim to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and FSC sourced timber and clay roof tiles have been used.