Prefabricated Timber Structure

Pangbourne, West Berkshire | UK


The proposed extension development is located on a large wooded estate approximately 2.4 miles Southwest of the Thameside town of Pangbourne, Berkshire. The reason for the development is to better accommodate a large, active family of five (2 adults and 3 young children) that enjoys entertaining and having guests.Little Bear Annex is an extension to a single storey country home, comprising a hunter’s lodge, probably built in the 1930’s, and a 1980’s open plan dining-living room. The house is one of a number of buildings on this large wooded estate just Southwest of Pangbourne, Berkshire – a thinly developed area, filled with natural beauty. The National Trust’s Basildon and Beale Parks are nearby with easy access to some great walks into the Chiltern Hills.

The Cottage

Site Plan

1930s Lodge



1980s Addition

Central to our brief was to provide three ensuite bedrooms plus a larger master bedroom with bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Despite the size of the house, there were only two very small bedrooms, opening onto a family room. This has not been ideal, particularly for an active family of five. This is explained by the fact that the house was designed for a big Greek wedding and not a home. 

Ground Floor Plan

Northeast Elevation

Southwest Elevation

The Annex now ‘completes’ the house. This is at a functional level with a better distribution of bedrooms as well as compositionally. By connecting around 175m2 onto the West side of the large living-dining area we’ve added another 30% to the house, giving a far more balanced whole. As to the volume of the architecture, we pursued a strategy of extending the existing – ridge line, pitched ceilings and gutter line – making an integrated whole. The volume has been given a 45-degree bend. This was done to soften the structure while also embracing the garden and surrounding landscape. A band of large windows face South. This affords direct physical and visual connections of the bedrooms to the mature trees and small lake just over 100 meters away.  

Section through wall

SIP Structure System

The design strategy has been to be as cost effective as possible. Due to time and cost restrictions, we pursued a prefabricated timber construction, structural insulated panels (SIP). While the contractor was preparing the foundations, drainage and main services runs, the panels were being built off site. In a coordinated delivery, the insulated panels were up within 10 days, for the contractor to continue with roofing, windows and finishes. In all, the construction was completed in 5 months. 


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