The Gardener’s Cottage

“We were enormously lucky to have a plot of land where we could build but without PAD studio’s expertise, I wonder if we would have been able to build the house we wanted. “

. . . Private Client . . . 

Project & Environmental Data

Project Info

  • Location: Fordingbridge, Hampshire
  • Cost: £1,400,000
  • Collaborators: Moulding R & Co, Webb Yates, Dowsett Mayhew Planning Consultants
  • Image Credit: Jim Stephenson

Environmental Data

  • Energy Efficiency
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Insulation
    1 2 3 4 5
  • Thermal Mass
    1 2 3 4
  • Airtightness
    1 2 3 4 5
  • Solar PV
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Embodied Carbon
  • 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 for the Gardener’s Cottage loved their family home so much that they chose to move next door when they opted to downsize. This low-lying courtyard house replaces a small, dark Victorian gardener’s cottage with a home that is flooded with light and embraces the landscape. Whilst single-storey, level changes maximise the feeling of space and strategically work with the natural slope of the site; the result is a series of layered spaces which shape a sheltered outdoor courtyard. This courtyard is a space for gathering and growing, a sunny external room for living. The internal rooms are orientated around the courtyard and sun-path, framing specific views in response to the room’s function. The master bedroom, with east facing windows, embraces the rising sun, whilst a large bathroom picture window captures a beautiful view of the setting sun, filtered through the woodland beyond; the perfect tonic to soothe the soul and restore the mind.

“From the very beginning, we really appreciated their collaborative style. PAD studio asked us what were the important aspects of a house for us: sitting lightly on the landscape, green credentials, plenty of internal light, a feeling of space, avoiding where at all possible cutting down existing trees - and they designed for us a house which miraculously fulfilled these aspirations. The day to day contact, as the build went forward, was also a pleasure. My feeling throughout was that the process was as important to them as it was to us and the proof of this is in a house which we love and where we feel completely at home. They went well beyond their brief, helping us with aspects well beyond the design and architecture.”

. . . Private Client . . .

Echoing the local red brick vernacular, Danish made bricks of a similar hue were selected to add a feeling of crafted texture and solidity. Internally exposed brickwork is contrasted with oak panelling and joinery pieces which have been lovingly and locally crafted.

The deep overhanging roof floats delicately above a ribbon of high-level windows, giving this house a unique sense of identity which fulfils both functional and aesthetic requirements. Views of the sky from every room enable the occupants to feel a connection to the elements yet the overhangs shade glazed areas from excessive solar gain during the summer months. The high-level windows have been positioned to encourage natural cross ventilation ensuring a constant and comfortable internal environment.

Whilst the footprint of this home was restricted by planning, this is a home that does not feel small. The relationship with the landscape is symbiotic. Brick terraces and large planters designed as part of the architecture extend outwards and blur the boundaries between inside and out, extending the feeling of space. This is a home to move around both internally and externally, with outside spaces designed to be enjoyed at as the weather allows and mood dictates.

“Their attention to detail is astonishing and these are the things which make the house such a pleasure to inhabit.”

. . . Private Client . . .

Our designs are heavily influenced by location, the site and its wider context. We take inspiration from thorough research of place and use it to influence our design solutions so that they are unique to the setting.