Niall Mclaughlin Architects


The Fishing Hut for a private client, Hampshire

The primitive hut has a long anthropological pedigree as well as an architectural one. This is a sophisticated primitive hut, worthy of Murcutt or Leplastrier but set not on the edge of the Bush but on a Hampshire lake, close by chalk-filtered streams providing watercress beds and fishing. The timber-framed and clad construction on galvanised supports hovers over the lake, intended as a retreat for fishermen and a place for the owner’s family to unwind. But it is as much about time passing as it is about fishing: crafted slatted timber panels which allow the building to ‘hunker-down’ in the winter, open up in the spring to become delicate brises soleils. Timber framed glass screens slide away. Within a few moments in time a solid building is transparent.

“The site is a man made lake, originally built as a fish farm, fed by the river that defines its southern boundary. The river is typical of the chalk streams that run through this part of the Hampshire countryside. It is shallow, fast flowing and exceptionally unpolluted, making it the perfect habitat for migrating eels, brown trout and other fresh water fish. It provides some of the best fly-fishing in the UK. Our client wanted a secure place to store boats and fishing tackle that could also function as a meeting place and shelter for anglers. To facilitate moving boats in and out of the water a covered mooring was required. The building was to be used intermittently during the trout-fishing season from late April to September. The structure was to be as open as possible when in use to maximise views of the rural landscape in which it was situated. At the same time it had to be possible to close up and secure the building when not occupied. The project celebrates this dual nature. The simple, barn-like form is clad in corrugated metal sheet and timber planks that echo the vernacular of modern agricultural buildings. An array of mechanised timber shutters pivot open to reveal a golden timber interior that is reflected in the lake, like a buttercup held to your chin.”

Niall Mclaughlin Architects
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