The Keepers Lodge

The Keepers Lodge is an extensive crafted renovation and extension of a late Georgian cottage to become a family home. Stripping away the ad-hoc additions from over the decades to reveal the original cottage. Allowing the original cottage, so pivotal in the history of the parish, space to be celebrated whilst a considered intervention supports the flow and function of the home for the 21st-century family and well into the future.

In our design process, we uncovered the roots of the cottage. Dating back to the 1800’s, it is recorded to have been used to house the school for educating the poor of the parish. Held by a notable local family for a considerable period it holds significance for the area. The extension and renovation seeks to retain a building of local significance whilst also speaking of the current time and supporting future uses and the needs of modern-day living.

Project & Environmental Data

Project Info

  • Location: New Forest National Park
  • Cost: £2.1 Million
  • Designation: National Park, Area of Outstanding Beauty, Agricultural Rural Countryside
  • Image Credit: Axson Office

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

Set within a large corner plot the scheme also provides an Annexe, Studio and Garage in addition to the crafted renovation and extension. This allows the family to comfortably accommodate wider family and friends at times of gathering. The studio provides a space for the client to expand their yoga and wellness offerings locally set within the serene New Forest landscape. Both Annexe and Studio facilitate the option of providing a small holiday offering without it interacting with the family house and day-to-day life.

As the additions from across the years are stripped away to reveal the historic fabric of the original cottage. The brickwork revealed is celebrated in the internal spaces. It provides a textural backdrop against which the family can add their narrative to the already rich story.

A simple material palette elsewhere means the New Forest surroundings becomes the focus, framed through large glazed openings. Drawing the outside in, blending the threshold between home and garden. With a south-east aspect overheating is mitigated with large overhangs which also provide shelter all year, allowing the living space to expand outside despite the English weather giving the family a central core space to gather and be together.

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”

- Robert Louis Stevenson

A unique driver behind the scheme is the outdoor bath which immerses the user into the forest surroundings, perfect for an evening unwind or a morning cold plunge for those embracing the cold water therapy. The bath sits atop a roof terrace wrapped in climbing jasmine and is accessed off the master bedroom. Facing south-east an overhang provides both solar shading and shelter to the bath extending its usability across the seasons.

The brief centered around placing the garden and extended landscape at the heart of the proposal and so the open plan kitchen dining space opens out creating a further living space in the threshold where. Whilst being budget concious the scheme

The extension works with natural and local materials to provide a sensitive and considerate approach which interacts with the landscape but has a reduced impact on the delicate New Forest context in which it sits.