Case study: Kingsfield Pond by Jonathan Hendry Architects

A poplar tree woodland was the starting point for designing this Lincolnshire house, configured as a series of separate buildings. Photography by David Grandorge

We started by looking at the landscape characteristics that define the adjacent village of Barnoldby le Beck in north-east Lincolnshire. It soon became apparent that the poplar tree woodland planted around the edges of the village played an important role in protecting and enclosing its perimeter.

We mapped out the existing ground, ponds and trees on the site. We wanted to give the cleared site to the north of the ponds a structure. The poplar planting grids became our starting point. We wanted to populate the site with a grid of trees that would not only reinforce the idea of extending the woodland habitat around the edges, but also give the site its structure with a grid of trees planted at 3m centres.

The question of how to organise the dwelling also became important. Should we simply stack the building in a conventional two-storey way, or organise the different functions and spatial requirements so that, for example, eating, sleeping and play had their own defined enclosures?


The placing of each building was determined by considerations of access, orientation, light, view and enclosure. This way of organising a house as a series of buildings also allows independent environmental control for its different parts.
Jonathan Hendry, director, Jonathan Hendry Architects


Project data

Start on site July 2019
September 2021
Gross internal floor area
Construction cost £2.67 million
Construction cost per m2 £3,516
Jonathan Hendry Architects
Client Kevin Whyte
Structural engineer Ellis & Moore
M&E consultant Waldeck Consulting
Aproved building inspector Assent Building Control
Landscape architect Planting by Design
Swimming pool design Grayfox Swimming Pools
Environmental/M&E engineer UK Alternative Energy
CAD software used AutoCAD
Annual CO2 emissions  2.5 kgCO2/m2



Architect’s choices

The materials for Kingsfield Pond have been selected because they are natural and/or robust: clay, lime, wood, stone, wool or metal, for examples. All of the materials used were sampled, tested and in many cases prototyped before a conclusion was drawn. A palette of natural materials gives a building a distinct feeling, a sense of tranquility and timelessness.

The timbers used have a warmth and their own smell; the lime plaster is absorbent, has depth and its natural patina is created by working it by hand with a float. The acoustic and curtain wools are tactile, soft and warm and their oils, when warmed by the sun, release their fragrance. All of this matters, and informs how we select materials.
Jonathan Hendry, director, Jonathan Hendry Architects




Our approach to sustainable building is a combination of technology with a ‘back to basics’ approach to material selection. It prioritises localism and natural products.


The larch used for the cladding, for example, was sourced from a UK woodland. It was delivered to site as green trunks, then test-cut in different ways several times before we finalised how it would be cut and fixed. The internal walls of the house are predominantly lined in lime plaster, finished in its natural state. The timber for the floors, columns, walls and furniture were also sourced from the same woodland, then dried and cut in the UK. We struggled to find a lathe large enough to turn the elm to make the columns, so the client purchased a lathe and a local joinery workshop made a prototype with it before all the columns were turned.

The structural ceiling in the kitchen/living building has a glulam roof manufactured in Devon then finished on site with a natural coloured oil wash.

The wool for the curtains and acoustic ceiling panels came from a UK mill and were made locally. The metal roofs were also bespoke and made by a local shipwright.
Jonathan Hendry, director, Jonathan Hendry Architects

Selected products

Buckland Timber
Whitewood spruce with an oil wash
Structural ceiling

Façade cladding
Green larch trunks, split and fixed
External cladding

Lime plaster
Internal wall lining

Scandinavian Timber
Triple-glazed with lift-and-slide opening glazed doors
Curtain wall

Sutton Timber
Elm planks
Internal wall lining

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