located in south east england, this two-storey dwelling by ström architects replaced a bungalow which dated back to the 1930s. the private house, named ‘woodpeckers’, is surrounded by fields and woodland, as well as a heavily-treed and well-established garden. the client — a couple involved in the design field — tasked the architects with designing a stylish weekend retreat, which would eventually become their permanent home. taking just 11 months to complete, construction work began in august 2014, with the client able to move in the following july.

all images by luke hayes



to keep costs to a minimum, and ensure a quick build time, ström architects opted for a timber-framed structure. sitting on a piled concrete slab, the timber studwork allows large openings to establish a strong internal-external relationship — an important part of the brief. this structure is filled and over-clad with insulation, creating a thermally efficient envelope.

the dwelling is located in the new forest in south east england



planning constraints dictated that the new home’s floor area could be just 30% larger than the previously existing bungalow, with an additional 20 square meters allocated for a conservatory. as this figure included all overhangs, the design team established that a slab-sided volume would make best use of the restrictions, pushing glazing to the outer edge of the envelope. ‘by integrating a single-storey, almost flat-roofed element, which continues out seamlessly from the main open plan space, we were able to eschew the typical aesthetic of a domestic conservatory,’ explain the architects.

named ‘woodpeckers’, the private house is surrounded by fields

the architects eschewed the typical aesthetic of a domestic conservatory

large openings establish a strong internal-external relationship

the home’s brightly illuminated kitchen

the open-plan living accommodation includes a dining and lounge area

the weekend retreat took just 11 months to complete

the building replaced a bungalow which dated back to the 1930s

an external terrace allows the clients to dine outdoors

the property is surrounded by trees and woodland



project info:


name: woodpeckers
size: 195 sqm / 2,099 sqf
construction cost: £500,000 total including landscape works (£2,500 /sqm)
dates: august 2014 – july 2015
project manager: rice projects
timber frame contractors: industree ltd
structural engineer: barton engineers
cost consultant: APS associates
photography: luke hayes







    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    architecture news