Holly Water Cabin

Holly Water Cabin has been built as a self-contained holiday retreat in the heart of Devon farmland, created as a space that would invite its inhabitants into a close rela­tionship with the outdoors while also providing the utmost comfort.

Holly Water, designed by Out of the Valley, is clad in cedar sourced from a Dartmoor mill. The building is constructed around a Douglas fir frame, raised off the ground on pier foundations to minimise the need for concrete. It is highly insulated – with plant-based insulation – and with a high specification of membrane and envelope details for longevity and energy efficiency. Interior walls are finished with Clayworks Smooth Finish in White. The clay also helps maintain a breath­able building envelope and regulate humidity and temperature, and also provides a pleasing organic texture.

Inside, an oak kitchen occupies the open-plan interior’s back wall, while a bathroom and cosy sleep­ing area with a double bed is tucked into the gable elevation. Sliding doors open from the living space onto a sweeping larch veranda with a copper tub to bathe amongst nature.

The natural materials used throughout offer a calm colour palette that harmonises with the sur­rounding landscape.

Revenue from letting Holly Water to holidaymakers facilitates the rewilding of the 4.5-acre field around the cabin to bring diversity back to the land and welcome new wildlife.

Out of the Valley specialises in creating buildings and interiors that connect people with the rhythms of nature. Working with the beauty and durability of natural materials, their design-led structures invite a transformative return to a simpler way of living and a renewed affinity with the land.

Comprising architects, designers and craftspeople, Out of the Valley has a wealth of knowledge in off-grid technologies and the principles of biophilic design – that is, the design of structures that invite their inhabitants to connect with the surrounding natural landscape. Led by Rupert McKelvie, the team has a deep appreciation of the science within clay plasters, particularly the contribution they make towards maintaining indoor air quality and humidty and their sustainable credentials. Clayworks clay plasters are 100% natural and do not contain the chemicals found in many building products.

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