Looking Glass Lodge is a unique holiday let, which blends seamlessly into the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Built by local craftsmen, the subtle design makes use of the sloping site, appearing elevated amongst the trees as the ground levels fall away below. A refined, natural material palette sees western red cedar used as exterior and interior cladding – left unfinished, the facades will weather naturally to a familiar silver-grey colour. Large windows flood the lodge with light and offer a sense of transparency, providing visitors with far-reaching views and a chance to immerse themselves in the woodland. Self-tinting electrochromic glass grants privacy while limiting overheating and the spill of artificial light. Critically, this glass minimises disruption to the site’s bat population, helping to secure the long-term habitat of this protected species.
From manufacture to completion, preserving the site’s ecology was key to the brief. Off-site construction overcame the sloping site’s logistical limitations and delivered an efficient build programme with minimal disruption to the AONB. Located in a natural clearing, no trees needed to be felled to construct the lodge, which uses a hybrid steel/timber-framed structure, with screwpile foundations for a low-impact approach. This avoids damage to existing trees, encourages the natural regeneration of native flora on the plot, and retains unobstructed access for wildlife movement.
The lodge is featured on Series 11 of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, broadcast January 2023 and available to watch on All 4.
Photography: Tom Bird