The New Forest House is sublimely located in the New Forest National Park in southern England and replaces an old cottage. Wanting to build a new home that was sensitive to its forest environment, the owners tasked PAD Studio to come up with a design that treaded lightly on the surrounding forest. The result is a highly sustainable, solar-powered, green-roofed and earth bermed home that takes only views.
Situated in the New Forest National Park, the private property previously featured an older two-bedroom cottage. The owners wanted to replace the old cottage with a new house, and they worked with local authorities and PAD Studio to design and built a super sensitive and eco friendly home. The team even went so far as to relocate local lizards to keep from hurting them during construction. Expanding by just 30 percent in square footage, the new home has three bedrooms and an open floor plan living, dining and kitchen area. A basement offers up a media room and utility space, while a small guest cottage and workshop provides room for the owner’s visiting parents.
Dirt dug up from the basement was retained and used to berm the backside of the house, which provides extra insulation, blocks noise from a nearby road and helps the home blend in with the surrounding environment. Orientation of the home was carefully designed to allow for solar passive design, natural breezes and views. Locally-sourced wood was used to shore up the concrete wall that serves as the spine of the house and provides thermal mass. The wood was then reused as interior paneling in the workshop. Green roofs planted with native sedum further insulate the home, while a solar thermal system generates hot water for domestic use. A wood-fired boiler provides extra heat for hot water if needed and heat during the winter.
The 18.5-acre site is located adjacent to ancient woodland and heath, and the home enjoys excellent views of its surroundings. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and grey water is recycled. Right in front of the house is a natural swimming pool, which teams with local flora and fauna, especially lizards, which returned once construction was complete.
Images ©Nigel Rigden