Home Magazine

The Home That Arrived by Crane

By Dwell @dwell
Modern prefab english mobile home with chesnut clad facade

When planning regulations limited what could be built in an English forest, PAD Studio devised a prefab structure that can be moved by crane. “The whole building is based around a steel frame, which provides us with the stability to be able to top-lift it easily,” explains designer Ricky Evans.

Project  Forest Lodge Architect  PAD Studio

The silver birch trees of England’s New Forest National Park were a key inspiration in the design of what is effectively a genre-defining mobile home. 

The project’s owners, Mel Matthews and her husband, Roy, had lived on five acres of this preternaturally lovely Hampshire woodland setting for 24 years—first in a static trailer and then in an off-the-shelf mobile home—before they finally decided that they’d had enough of cold winters in their poorly insulated park home. 

“We looked at larger houses in the area, but we kept coming back to our beautiful site surrounded by bluebell woods and streams,” Mel says. With that in mind, the couple set out to find an architect to build a bespoke house on the site. They found their match in PAD Studio, attracted by the firm’s design approach and Passivhaus principals. 

While new permanent construction is prohibited in this protected conservation area, planning permission existed for a mobile dwelling. Following extensive research into the field, PAD Studio designed Forest Lodge: a steel-frame structure featuring an open-plan layout combining living, dining, and kitchen areas, and two bedrooms, one of which doubles as an office. 

The house was prefabricated and fully fitted out internally—down to the ceiling fans and limestone countertops—in Yorkshire over the course of five months. It arrived on site in two parts on two flatbed trucks, and was then lifted by crane onto the existing concrete-and-limestone plinth.

Modern prefab english mobile home with ecohaus internorm windows, white oak flooring, and kitchen collection cabinets in the kitchen

Bright interior finishes, including whitened oak on the floor and ceiling and Kitchen Collection’s Malmo cabinets in porcelain and oak colorways, were installed off-site.

At approximately 22 feet wide by 65 feet long, the new house is the maximum size permitted by the UK Caravan Act of 1968, but the structure sits quietly among its surroundings. Clad in chestnut boards echoing the silvery hue of the surrounding trees, the super-insulated house also features large triple-glazed windows strategically placed to allow in light and views. Internally, the restrained material palette provides a backdrop that doesn’t compete with the changing colors of the forest.

Built with rigorous Passivhaus standards in mind, the home also boasts a 3.8-kilowatt photovoltaic array on the roof to generate electricity, and an air-source heat pump that provides hot water for the radiant heating system. Rainwater is harvested from the roof, which also features structural eyelets so a crane can lift the structure from its concrete mooring, should Mel and Roy ever want to (literally) pick up and leave. 

For the time being, though, they’re going nowhere. “It may be built to a restricted size, but we don’t feel it’s a compromise,” Mel concludes. “It suits our needs perfectly.” 

  • Log in or register to post comments

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Sundaze 57


    After a BUSY week at Chez Chai, it comes as no surprise that this miniature Sundaze installment is scheduled! Nope, we’re not in real-time right now and by the... Read more

    6 hours, 53 minutes ago by   Winyeemichelle
  • Fabb Review & Unboxing of My Envy Box of July’17

    Fabb Review Unboxing Envy July’17

    Hey Everyone, Hope you are doing well. Today I am going to talk about My Envy Box of July month. I received this day before yesterday and I am so excited to... Read more

    7 hours, 43 minutes ago by   Dreamtechie
  • God’s Own Country

    God’s Country

    On a complete whim, we decided on a mini tour of Yorkshire. As England’s largest traditional county by far, it was a very teeny weeny tour encompassing just... Read more

    7 hours, 53 minutes ago by   Jackscott
  • Thoughts of the Week

    1. We've been in home improvement mode lately and I love it. Tiger put in a wood heater and he put up curtains in our bedroom and the nursery. It makes the hous... Read more

    10 hours, 51 minutes ago by   Glossqueen
  • Peach & Blueberry Crumble

    Peach Blueberry Crumble

    This is a delicious dessert to make when the blueberry bushes are just dripping with fruit. We are not quite there yet in our garden, but it won't be long now,... Read more

    13 hours, 53 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
  • Concert Review: The New Teen Titans

    Concert Review: Teen Titans

    The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America marks five years at Carnegie Hall. by Paul J. Pelkonen Members of the National Youth Orchestra of... Read more

    14 hours, 50 minutes ago by   Superconductor
  • My Dilemma


    I’ve not been around much lately, not that the few readers I have left would notice, but it’s been a crazy month.   I bought a new house  and I’m also in the... Read more

    15 hours, 37 minutes ago by   Laurken