Located in rural Hampshire, the Forest Pond House is both a space for meditation and a children’s den in the woods. Cantilevering over the bank of a pond at the foot of a family garden, the timber frame structure is finished in plywood, glass and copper and was designed and built by TDO architecture for a budget of ￡7,500.
The design overlays the two functions to give a single diagram.
This was shaped by the forest to give a form to the building. The Forest Pond House combines contrasting surroundings and contrasting uses to striking effect. It nestles between the dark drama of the forest and the bright calm of the water.
Black, angular sides address the forest; light, curved surfaces and sheet glass address the pond. The dark elevations serve as blackboards for drawing in the woods. A rising floor and falling ceiling shrinks one corner down to the size of a child. The brighter end of the Forest Pond House, with its single source of light and bench looking onto the water, offers focus and a place for reflection.
Architects: TOD Architecture
Photo credit: Ben Blossom
Project location: Sway, Hampshire, New Forest, UK
Site area: 875m2
Floor area: 6m2
Construction dates: August 2011 - August 2012 (The build took approximately 20 days, over a 12 month period. Built by the founding Partners of TDO (Tom, Doug and Owen) as a experimental structure to test ideas of form and materiality. Construction on site was limited to weekends and holidays while setting up TDO architecture).