Holder Mathias wins award for its contribution to a more sustainable built environment

13 Apr 2016

Holder Mathias wins award for its contribution to a more sustainable built environment

Leading architecture practice Holder Mathias has won a ‘Green Apple Award for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage’ in recognition of its pioneering approach to designing sustainable cabins for Forest Holidays.

The Green Apple Awards is an international campaign to promote, recognise, and reward environmental best practice across the world. The award was presented to Holder Mathias and Forest Holidays at a carbon-neutral ceremony at The Crystal, Royal Victoria Docks, London.

Holder Mathias was awarded for its architectural approach to designing a £40m portfolio of cabins for Forest Holidays, a joint venture partnership with the Forestry Commission, to provide cabin breaks at forest-based locations across the UK. The use of warm, tactile and natural materials throughout the design, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, maximise the views of the surrounding treetops and create a sense of living within the forest.

Minimising any impact on the environment was essential to the project and was achieved through the use of alternative energy sources, including renewable energy for heating, and a low-energy building design using modular frames so the cabins could be sensitively constructed between the trees. The design achieved Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the site infrastructure was rated BREEAM Excellent.

Peter Gamble, Partner at Holder Mathias, said: “Designing 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.”

Bruce McKendrick, Chief Executive of Forest Holidays, adds: “As 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. The 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.”