“Woodpeckers” is an incredible replacement build, found in the New Forest National Park, so already you will understand that certain restrictions will have been placed on the property. Designed to be used primarily as a holiday home, it was subject to incredibly tight size restrictions that had such an impact that even glazing architecture had to be out of the norm, so as to not encroach on non-permitted land, however, permission was granted for the inclusion of a conservatory, which posed its own architectural problems.
The pre-fabricated structure allowed for fast and efficient construction and the end result sees the house sitting on a dedicated platform. This was a crucial aspect as the winter season can bring with it a lot of rain, something that also dictated the use of Silver Birch Larch cladding on the exterior.
A house dictated by functionality and practicality, it has been effortlessly drenched in aesthetic beauty too, all of which has been been drawn into the interior. Wide open spaces and stunning views make this simultaneously the perfect and most unique woodland home, so let's take a look around!
The team at Strom have created a masterpiece in wood here and though we might have initially thought that the moody mist that is creeping into the picture had been added in later, it is clear to see that it is a regular occurrence in this fabulous setting and one that has been taken into account when designing the house. The sharp white render on the external chimney is mirroring the white mist, while the wooden cladding connects to the surrounding trees and helps to place this house symbiotically within its surroundings, as appose to making it stand out and draw attention to itself. A quiet, respectful and harmonious build, we can't wait to see more.
From every angle, this incredible woodland retreat is offering beautiful lines and seemingly effortless proportion. Important in any build, this is amplified when the surroundings are as auspicious as those here, as anything too large, over the top or outlandish would deject from the natural beauty of the parkland.
Striated vertical cladding, in various tones, helps to ground the materials back into the environment and as the cladding strips reach up, so too do the branches of the neighbouring trees. The open courtyard spaces help to keep the building from feeling too oppressive or monolithic and instead, spaced out, as a natural orchard or forest might be. What incredible harmony the architectural team have accomplished!
Moving around the outside of the house, one thing becomes clear; everything has a function, not only an aesthetic value. Yes, the interior ceiling height is large, but that's to negate the restrictive footprint. The white rendered tower looks dramatic and adds contrast, but it's also an outdoor fire, perfect for socialising around and the platform, far from just making the house sit on a literal and metaphorical design pedestal, keeps the property elevated from wet conditions. Rarely have we seen a house that is so ideally situated and created for specific criteria, but this is a wonderful family holiday home with a difference.
Naturally, an exterior with as much wow factor as this one has a lot to live up to on the inside, but we are happy to see that it does not disappoint. Far from it in fact!
The ceiling heights, that are almost cathedral-like in stature, house enormous glazed panels effortlessly and allow the space to be filled with light that circles around the furniture to bring an airy and spacious feel. We love those dramatic pendulum lights too, as their height cleverly accentuates the sheer scale of the room! With the living, dining and kitchen area all combined into one free-flowing and cohesive space, white walls and cabinets help to reiterate that though this is a modest and homely property, it is as airy as the outdoors itself too.
It's not just the walls and kitchen units that have been kept cool in tone, the soft furnishings and floor tiles also exude a quiet and neutral elegance that helps to define spacious living areas that are constantly referencing and paying homage to the breathtaking exterior surroundings.
Though a cube-shaped building filled with white paint and cool-coloured soft furnishings may not sound even remotely homely and welcoming, the effect here is undeniably lovely and appealing and thanks to the inclusion of a low ceiling area, a boxed-in and cosy spot has been created that lends itself perfectly to romantic evenings curled up in front of the fire.
With a modest footprint on the inside, it makes perfect sense to extend the living quarters by adding extensive glazing to make the outside of the house really feel as though it is part of the room. What has been achieved here is nothing short of amazing.
Aside from the view, which is spectacular, the use of glazing has made this living room feel as open as an al fresco socialising area. The only giveaway, really, is the beautiful grey rug, otherwise we may have been fooled into thinking this was a patio! It's not a cliché to say that bringing the outside in is important for smaller properties and when it can result in a space that looks like this one, we are seriously tempted to rethink our own windows!
For more amazing design inspiration take a look at this Ideabook: A Dream House In The Woods.