The Retreat

Monday 26 Nov 2012

Buckley Gray Yeoman redefines the second home with elegantly-crafted mobile units

The Retreat is a groundbreaking residential project from quirky Shoreditch-based architecture and interior design firm BuckleyGrayYeoman. A modest and friendly firm whose offices can be found in Derwent London’s spirited Tea Building, BuckleyGrayYeoman have experience in almost every sector and tote a variety of high-profile returning clients (including Derwent London).

Drawing on their wealth of design experience, BuckleyGrayYeoman started stand-alone initiative The Retreat several years ago. The studio was presented with a very basic mobile home brief and, determined that a more adventurous approach would reap better results, branched off with a series of architecturally brilliant small-scale residential units ideal for those in the market for a holiday home.

A review from the Architects’ Journal claims ‘they meet the demands and aspirations of society by offering an innovative, sustainable solution’, while the Financial Times concludes ‘this spacious and elegant tardis defies all caravan clichés’.

As the latter quote suggests, these units are by law considered caravans and therefore do not require planning consent, enabling BuckleyGrayYeoman to install the properties at any holiday caravan site, on the owner’s private property or, providing a form of planning permission is obtained, in a field.

In keeping with client demand and company ethics, BuckleyGrayYeoman have ensured that these modest residential units are as sustainable as possible. The structures are built using only timber sourced from sustainable forests and feature floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise natural lighting. Sheep’s fleece is used for insulation and photovoltaic roof panels, solar water heating panels, low energy light fittings and dual flush toilets are installed throughout.

This timber-rich design allows for sound absorption and heat retention, and despite the ten year guarantee, offers the potential for reuse as timber chippings or alternative building materials while the glass can be recycled and any steel smelted for reuse.

Matt Yeoman, Director of Retreat Homes Limited explains: “We immediately recognised a gap in the market for radical designs and the potential to market to new second-home owners. The Retreat combines a new concept in design with high-end materials and finishes and yet will cost from just £25,250 (retail) to buy. With the new Garden, N, J, Z and Lodge models, we can now offer increased space with the same quality at affordable prices.”

‘Contemporary, intelligent and rigidly constructed’, these mobile units are the next step in second homes. Available in a wide variety of styles and sizes (up to 45ft in length), The Retreat range offers a highly sustainable alternative for eco-conscious developers, plus there is the swift construction time. Built off-site in the Lake District, the units can be installed on their concrete slabs and furnished in a matter of days. It’s no wonder that eight years from the scheme’s initiation, it’s still going strong…

Sian Disson
News Editor

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United Kingdom

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