Forest Lodge

On the edge of a historic park in an English shire, a prefabricated mobile home sets a new design standard. The silver birch trees of England’s New Forest National Park were a key inspiration in the design of what is effectively a genre-defining mobile home.

. . . Caroline Ednie, Dwell Magazine. USA . . .

Project & Environmental Data

Project Info

  • Location: New Forest National Park, Hampshire
  • Cost: £400,000
  • Designation: AONB, National Park, Conservation Area
  • Collaborators: Catfoss
  • Image Credit: Nigel Rigden


2017 CPRE Awards: Best Sustainable Building, Highly Commended
2017 RIBA South Regional Award, Shortlisted
2017 RICS Awards: Design Through Innovation, Highly Commended

Environmental Data

  • Energy Efficiency
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Insulation
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Thermal Mass
    1 2
  • Airtightness
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Solar PV
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Embodied Carbon
    1 2
  • Heating/Hot Water
    Electric Gas Ground Source Air Source
  • Solar Thermal
    Yes No
  • Rain Water Harvest
    Yes No
  • Ventilation
    MVHR Natural
  • Energy Storage
    Yes No
Prefabricated home in its forest setting

Forest Lodge is a home with a difference. It is mobile and was built to comply with the Caravan Act 1968. The owners who had been living in a static caravan for 15 years on their stunning plot in the New Forest, approached PAD studio to design a low-energy building with a strong connection to the landscape. Importantly it wasn’t meant to feel like a mobile home.

. . . Grand Designs Magazine . . .

The forest setting in which Forest lodge sits
Family dining space of forest lodge
Crafted kitchen space in the prefabricated home

Internally the restrained palette provides a backdrop that doesn’t compete with the changing colours of the forest.

Open plan living room connected into the forest through large windows
Top lit shower for a serene space

We work collaboratively and every member of the studio is a talented designer supported by the wider team. We are proud to be a female-led studio and we celebrate this, embracing diversity in all its manifestations. We are tenacious and driven, working hard for you and with you. We strive to meet the specific and individual needs of every client ensuring a memorable, personal, and professional experience.

Crafted oak headboard to the master bed
Floating bed with corner window connecting into the landscape
Corner window drawing the landscape into the building

Whilst new permanent construction is prohibited in this protected conservation area, planning permission existed for a mobile dwelling. Following extensive research into the field, PAD studio designed Forest Lodge; a steel frame structure featuring an open-plan layout combining living, dining and kitchen areas, and two bedrooms, one of which doubles as an office…At approximately 22 feet wide by 65 feet long, the new house is the maximum size permitted by the UK Caravan Act of 1968, but the structure sits quietly among its surrounding. Clad in chestnut boards echoing the silvery hue of the surrounding trees, the super-insulated house also features large triple-glazed windows strategically placed to allow in light and views. Internally the restrained palette provides a backdrop that doesn’t compete with the changing colours of the forest.

. . . Dwell Magazine, USA . . .

Forest lodge grounded in the site and landscape

It meets the rigorous PassivHaus standard and is essentially self-sufficient thanks to photovoltaic panels on the roof that generate electricity and an air-source heat pump which provides hot water for an underfloor heating system. A sewage treatment plant manages waste and rainwater, collected in an underground tank for watering the garden.

. . . Grand Designs Magazine . . .

Timber cladding of forest lodge and nature in the reflections
Clients and design team for Forest lodge at the entrance

“We looked at larger houses in the area, but we kept coming back to our beautiful site surrounded by bluebell woods and streams. It may be restricted in size, but we don’t feel like it’s a compromise. It suits our needs perfectly.”

. . . Mel Matthews, client . . .