Lake House Self-Build

Re-locating from a busy London life our clients fell in love with the seclusion and tranquillity of this New Forest spot located near the coastal town of Lymington. Lake House sits overlooking a meadow to the east, agricultural fields to the west and mature trees to the north, with several large lakes located a short walk to the east. Whilst the footprint of the replacement main house was constrained by national park planning policy, this special plot enjoyed the benefit of a separate residential barn complete with its own historic smithy.

Project & Environmental Data

Project Info

  • Location: Lymington, New Forest

Environmental Data

  • 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

Our clients conveyed to us a dream for a humble home in tune with its setting which would also allow them to work from home with space to entertain guests or run Airbnb without compromising their family privacy. The pervious building was poorly positioned on the plot and had been extended so many times during its life that it lacked identity and had a rambling plan. Inspired by the small walled garden that already existed on the plot, we created a courtyard home with a wrapping garden wall, separating distinct zones for living and sleeping and enclosing a new sunny garden space. The living space, open-plan, double height and facing southwest, embraces a new garden. The kitchen windows enjoy views of the small walled garden whilst the bedrooms all face east over the extensive wild flower meadow. The master bedroom has triple aspect.

Traditional in its form but contemporary in its layout, interiors and detailing, this home will be low energy, light filled and flexible. A deep pergola on the south façade extends the feeling of space and creates an outside room for summer months. Critically however, this pergola prevents excessive solar gain build up during the summer. A glazed entrance link between the living and sleeping wings will be a delicate contrast to the masonry built wings of the house. The garden wall is broken to create a dramatic light filled entrance space which becomes space of transition from landscape to interior.

The new guest annexe building appears as a fragment of the main home and together with the refurbishment of the smithy building completes the wrapping of the new garden wall around the plot surrounding a new arrival courtyard. A completely self-contained building, the annex allows our clients maximum flexibility to work, live or play as the opportunities afforded from living life outside London post-Covid become a new normality for them. Having secured planning in early October 2020, this home will begin construction in 2021.

Often our client’s approach us with an idea of what they would like, sometimes it is list of requirements, sometimes an essence of what they want to achieve and sometimes it has been encapsulated in a painting. By working in collaboration with our clients we are able to recognise what they are truly striving for, translating what might be abstract in their heads into a beautiful, physical building. This is why we place great importance on talking in detail at the initial stages and ensuring that the brief is clear. This stage becomes a roadmap for all future work.