A rustic log cabin may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a low-cost home made from locally felled trees, but Invisible Studio defies expectations with the contemporary Caretaker’s House. Located in the countryside of Dorset, England, the Caretaker’s House at Hooke Park is an energy-efficient building built only from timber grown and felled on site. The building was developed from an Architectural Association student concept design and is said to be the “world’s first green timber building insulated to Passivehaus standards.”
The 120-square-meter Caretaker’s House is constructed from a variety of unseasoned timber, including larch, cedar, and spruce, but uses the wood for more than just its framework. The wood is also used for heating and insulation, particularly on the relatively closed north side, which features thick and heavy timber walls. In contrast, the south side opens up to the outdoors with a large verandah that extends the living space into the wooded landscape. Large windows bring natural light indoors and frame views into the forest. Passive solar orientation minimizes the home’s energy needs.
“The construction process is super-efficient,” write the architects. “There are no wet trades whatsoever – the mini piles are steel and the only non timber structural item.” The interior light timber walls are left untreated and contrast beautifully with the black steel window frames, doorways, and wood-burning stove. In addition to the locally felled timber, the house was also constructed using joinery manufactured on-site and steel bent piping welded on-site.
Images via Invisible Studio