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With so many people working from home and home-schooling there has been a rise in interest for home offices and even home classrooms. In my house we have turned the dining table into an office / classroom area and this leads to a rather chaotic mess at the heart of the home. Like me, you might be considering upheaving the whole family and moving to a bigger house or making use of some of that garden by building an outdoor office. That way your much-loved home can return to the tranquil place of rest that it used to be. If that’s the case then the following interview with HUTI may be of particular interest. They are a fabulous timber framing company based in Kingsbridge who are designers and makers of truly beautiful timber buildings and can help you every step of the way to your perfect outdoor living space, cabin or retreat…

Tell us a little bit about the background of HUTI

When we met in 2018, Nick (my business partner) had been running a local building company for 15 years, I had been working in the oak framing industry for 18 years. 

We shared a passion for the design of timber buildings and a love of the outdoors lifestyle. We could both see the potential for helping people to rewild a bit by creating beautiful timber spaces which extend their living (and working) areas and facilitate a more balanced and connected life. It was pre-Covid and we had no idea just how relevant those early discussions were.

At the time Nick had just built an Oak and Cedar outdoor kitchen for clients on Dartmoor – a simple, uninsulated, covered outdoor room which had a wood fired pizza oven which warmed it and glass shuttered sides for when the weather turned. It was so simple and yet it provided a perfect sanctuary which completely changed their lives. They found themselves using it every night from when they arrived home from work until they went to bed.

That summed up what HUTI was about.  

We were both aware of the quiet revolution which was underway around how we design our living spaces. The regulatory framework for housing seemed fixated on insulating us and closing us in and yet, with people’s lives becoming ever more complex, it seemed there was a widespread need not only for more space, but the rawness of experience which can only come with connection to the outdoors.

Cabins, studios & hideaways were on the up and Architects were increasingly responding by designing ‘porous’ buildings: blurring & challenging our notions of inside & outside and including transitional areas, courtyards and indoor gardens. This felt like exactly what we all needed. Glamping had been fun for a while but many people were ready to completely rethink their everyday living space and HUTI was born from that.  

What services do you offer? 

We design, we make and we build: We are all creatives and find that mingling these disciplines in the same team achieves the best results. We create studios, retreats, cabins, outdoor structures and much much more.

We have our own workshop for off-site manufacture and a skilled team, experienced in all forms of timber construction, so we love to work with clients all the way from initial ideas to finishing touches. We take projects through planning and building regulations, but we also frequently work alongside planning consultants, engineers and architects. We are naturally collaborative, it just depends on the size of the project.

Tell us about the team

We are a small team with a variety of backgrounds which come together brilliantly. My partner Nick oversees the groundworks and construction side of things but originally trained as a furniture designer. He has done some amazing projects including a huge coastal house for BBH architects in 2018. Ben, Mat and myself worked together for many years for one of the UK’s leading oak framing companies delivering challenging timber construction projects all over the UK, and between us bring experience in 3D design, oak framing, timber engineering, woodland structures and joinery. Dan, our project manager, has completed several beautiful campervan conversions, worked as a model maker and set designer and has solid engineering knowledge and experience of many forms of manufacturing. 

What sort of clients do you work with?

Those who appreciate thoughtful design. We are currently in the middle of a boathouse conversion in East Portlemouth and a full oak frame build in Kingsbridge. These are fairly large projects we also are rebuilding an off-grid building on stilts deep in the woods in Devon, and working on a number of client briefs for garden studios, outdoor shelters and treehouses. 

Where do you work?

Most of our work tends to be in the South Hams but we can go further afield to deliver prefabricated structures. 

How do you compare to other timber framing companies in the area?

Within the team we have not only solid expertise but a breadth of experience which most carpentry companies just would not have. Everybody’s situation is different and so we are highly bespoke. All the guys in our team really care about what we create and we’re dedicated to coming up with the right solution for people’s individual needs.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

It has to be working with clients who are willing to push the envelope a bit and have some fun with their buildings. Creating a beautiful, soulful space doesn’t have to be an expensive option and can really impact the way we live and bring joy to our lives if done well. Working with clients to deliver that is just brilliant. 

What does the future hold for HUTI?

We have an incredibly exciting project which is currently in planning and could see anything up to half a dozen landscape cabins and treehouses built on the Devon coast in the next couple of years. 

We are also developing a whole range of highly adaptable structures & cabins which are able to adapt to any terrain (essential for hilly Devon!) and configurable to be used in many ways – from social space to accommodation or WFH. These will be launched throughout 2021 and 2022. 

Click Here to visit the HUTI listing 

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