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The Fishing Hut

The Fishing Hut

Arnold Laver Gold Award & Private Winner 2015

Location: Hampshire
Architect: Niall McLaughlin Architects
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
Main Contractor/Builder: Inwood Developments Ltd
Joinery Company: Inwood Developments Ltd
M&E Consultant: Max Fordham
Timber Consultant: Wood Architecture and Building
Quantity Surveyor: Ridge & Partners
Project Manager: Padstone Consulting
Landscape Designer: Imagination Design
Electrical Engineers: R.S Birch and Partners
Plumbing/Heating Contractors: Design Heat Winchester Ltd
Wood Supplier: E.C. Forest Products, East Brothers Timber Ltd
Wood Species: European Oak from France, Douglas Fir from Southern England

The site is a man made lake, originally built as a fish farm, fed by a river that defines its southern boundary. The river is typical of the chalk streams that run through this part of the Hampshire countryside. It is shallow, fast flowing and exceptionally unpolluted, making it the perfect habitat for migrating eels, brown trout and other fresh water fish. It provides some of the best fly-fishing in the UK.

The client wanted a secure place to store boats and fishing tackle that could also function as a meeting place and shelter for anglers. To facilitate moving boats in and out of the water a covered mooring was required. The building was to be used intermittently during the trout-fishing season from late April to September. The structure was to be as open as possible when in use to maximise views of the rural landscape in which it was situated. At the same time it had to be possible to close up and secure the building when not occupied.

The building is supported on eighteen pad foundations formed from precast concrete drainage rings placed on the lakebed at 1.8m centres and filled with concrete. Nine galvanized steel goalpost frames are fixed to the pad foundations supporting the timber floor structure and glulam oak superstructure. The roof is made of softwood rafters, clad internally with oak boards and externally with profiled aluminium sheeting on larch battens. The building’s structure organises its plan into ten bays of 1.8m. A pair of bays at each end form open decks, partly covered by the overhanging pitched roof.

Below the eaves, shutters and cladding formed of open jointed timber planks enclose the six central bays. This enclosure comprises a weather tight internal space of four bays and a semi-enclosed storage area. The first bay of the internal space contains an entrance lobby, WC, kitchenette and dining area. The other three bays form an open plan area enclosed by sliding glazed screens. The storage area beyond contains a loft for boat storage, an external shower and a covered mooring with a removable floor and water gate.

When closed, the pitched roof and handling of the cladding refers directly to the construction of modern agricultural buildings. Oak was chosen for the exposed timber structure and cladding due to its colour and grain. The untreated exterior timber will weather to match the silver-grey of the roof cladding and steel supports. Shutters are horizontally pivoted upward from the eaves making the enclosure disappear, leaving you on a deck above the water beneath the pitched roof. In contrast to the exterior, the timber of the enclosed interior will retain in its warm golden tone, which is revealed and reflected in the water as the perimeter shutters are opened.

Further Sustainability Information: Timber is FSC / PEFC certified. The site for this project is of very significant ecological importance at both a national and European level. The riverine environment is designated as an SSSI (Special Site of Scientific Interest) and an SAC (Special Area of Conservation). The project aims to secure the long-term protection and conservation of the riverine environment through sustainable economic use as a site for anglers. Great care was taken to ensure there was no damage or adverse impact on the local environment during the construction and use. The design considers its impact on the wider environment through the use of materials selected for their inherent durability for each specific component to maximise life expectancy, limit maintenance and minimise embodied energy. The use of energy efficient LED lighting helps keep energy consumption to a minimum.