In a carbon-neutral ceremony this week, hosted by the Green Organisation, Forest Holidaysâ€™ cabins were recognised for their contribution to The Built Environment and Architectural Heritage of the UK.
Leading architecture practice Holder Mathias won the â€˜Green Apple Awardâ€™ in recognition of its pioneering approach to designing sustainable cabins for Forest Holidays.
The company have created a unique concept for Forest Holidays, designing cabins to fit sensitively into Forestry Commission woodlands around the country.
Our cabinsÂ are enjoyed by guests at nine stunning woodland and loch-side locations across the UK and a key element of the original brief was that they should â€˜touch nature lightlyâ€™.
Bruce McKendrick, Chief Executive of Forest Holidays, said: â€œAs a partner of the Forestry Commission, Forest Holidays locations are based exclusively on the Public Forest Estate and it is important to us that all of our cabins are built putting the environment first, retaining and enhancing the woodland, its wildlife and their habitats. Â
â€œThe concept developed by Holder Mathias has been a huge success, forming the basis of the identity of our holidays. Our cabins nestle amongst the trees and allow our guests to enjoy a luxury experience in the heart of nature, whilst retaining the peace and natural beauty of the woodland environment.â€
Building within a forest provided many challenges and Forest Holidays was clear that sustainability should inform the design and operation, with renewable energy for heating environmentally sensitive solutions.
For example, to avoid damaging tree roots or the forest floor, cabins are lifted onto a slab which is raised on micro-piles. Minimal machinery is needed as the cabins can be brought in as modular frames and carefully constructed between existing trees.
Peter Gamble, Partner at Holder Mathias, said: â€œDesigning sustainably and with nature in mind was at the heart of this project. Our design concept protects the forest landscape and minimises any impact on the environment, while allowing guests to feel that they are truly immersed in nature. We are pleased to be recognised by the Green Apple Organisation for our architectural approach and contribution to the built environment as a result of this project.â€
David Williamson, Recreation Manager, Forestry Commission England added: â€œWe are delighted that the sensitive and sustainableÂ build quality of the cabins has been recognised. Our partnership with Forest Holidays is helping us to deliver across our commitments toÂ offer opportunities for people to enjoy their woodlands whilstÂ enhancing them for the benefit of wildlife, andÂ the cabin locations themselves help toÂ deliver economic growth by bringing significant income into local rural economies.â€