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, The Gardener’s Cottage . . . 

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


2022 RIBA Regional Awards, Shortlisted

Environmental Data

  • Energy Efficiency
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Insulation
    1 2 3 4 5
  • Thermal Mass
    1 2 3 4 5
  • Airtightness
    1 2 3 4
  • Solar PV
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • 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

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.

A set of terraces forms outdoor spaces at the Gardener's Cottage
Rooms have a soft glow of sunlight

“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.”

. . . Private Client . . .

Brick is used to created a crafted quality

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.

open plan living spaces

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.

The Gardener's Cottage is set into the landscape

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

. . . Private Client . . .

Brick provides texture to surfaces
Internal spaces have a country feel

At PAD studio we care passionately about what we do, good design inspires us and although the role of an architect is bound by professionalism and responsibility, we work hard to ensure that the design process is celebrated and enjoyed by our clients and by us. We are architectural storytellers, and it is essential that every project has a unique storyline that is considerate of the people and place.

For over a decade, we have fully engaged with climate and biodiversity issues, celebrating these challenges as opportunities. We are proud signatories of the Architects Declare network, and the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge and aim to meet net-zero (or better) whole life carbon for new and retrofitted buildings by 2030.

We deliver crafted buildings

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.

Our houses are of luxury quality

"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 . . .