Architects: Out of the Valley
- Year: 2020
Photographs:Rupert McKelvie, Stephanie Osmond
- Project Director : Rupert McKelvie
- Project Architect: Luke Carnaby
- Design Team: Nathan Hilton, William Holland, Chris Gee, Jonno Cole
- Structural Engineer : Barry Honeysett
- Glazing : Tim Gaodin
- City: Devon
- Country: United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. Holly Water was built as a self-contained holiday retreat in the heart of Devon, UK, for clients keen to diversify their farmland. They sought to create a space that would invite its inhabitants into a close rela- tionship with the outdoors, while also providing the utmost comfort.
Approached via a path that winds through a corn field, Holly Water is clad in cedar sourced from a mill local to our Dartmoor workshop. Its exterior is characterised by a large mono pitched roof with generous eaves. The building is constructed around a Douglas fir frame, raised off the ground on pier foundations in order to minimise the need for concrete. It is highly insulated – with plant-based insulation – and with a high specification of membrane and envelope details for longevity and energy efficiency.
Inside, an oak kitchen occupies the back wall of the open-plan interior, while a bathroom and cosy sleep- ing area with double bed are tucked into the gable elevation. Sliding doors open from the living space onto a sweeping larch veranda with a copper tub in which to bathe amongst nature.
Interior walls are covered in a clay render – a natural alternative to plaster which helps maintain a breath- able building envelope and regulate humidity and temperature, and also provides a pleasing organic texture. The natural materials used throughout offer a calm colour palette that harmonises with the sur- rounding landscape.
Revenue from letting Holly Water to holidaymakers is facilitating the rewilding of the 4.5 acre field around the cabin, in order to bring diversity back to the land and welcome new wildlife.