Prototype House

Used today as Hooke Park’s Refectory, the Prototype House was conceived as a house for staff accommodation and as a prototype for a new form of low cost rural housing using construction material from the immediate locality. Constructed of spruce thinnings from Hooke Park, for a cost of £50,000, the building demonstrates the novel use of timber in tension in its roof. The Prototype House is the first building of the Hooke Park campus. John Makepeace, founder of the Parnham Trust, approached Frei Otto for advice on how best to use Hooke Park’s material; Otto suggested bringing in Richard Burton as co-designer.

Architects: Richard Burton (ABK) and Frei Otto Engineers: Ted Happold and Michael Dickson (Buro Happold) Construction: William Moorwood (ABK) and Dowding & Udall

Completed: 1987