HD was born in the summer of 2020 as a creative yet practical response to the dramatic changes effected by the pandemic. With many now working from home, a need emerged to create designated, purpose-built spaces that offered ideal conditions for work: well-thought-out functionality & a peaceful atmosphere. Investment in domestic spaces suddenly rose in many people’s agendas, as much for rest and relaxation as for professional purposes. Though catalysed by the pandemic these needs seemed to surpass its grip. We wanted to offer products that catered to the wider
desire for simple beauty, tranquillity, and escape from the distractions of life.
HD is also a fusion of friendship, and of skills. As long-standing friends, we welcomed the idea of putting our complimentary talents to good use. What started as a one-off project (which kept Sam occupied for most of lockdown No.1!) gained momentum from the positive responses received and the enjoyment of working together, which probably raises the bar on all fronts!
Architect; Designer; Builder
Sam studied his BA in Architecture at Oxford Brookes, before completing his Master’s at KADK in Copenhagen, where his architectural approach widened to encompass socio-political, utilitarian and ecological contexts.
Alongside HDD, Sam works as a freelance architect for Round wood design which specialises in innovative timber structures:, which puts a modern spin on traditional log-framing.
In his spare moments, Sam enjoys sport climbing, and drinking cups of tea very, very slowly.
Website; Marketing; Builder
Sam learnt building in the old style: by working alongside his father in construction as a whippersnapper. He has been
largely self-taught, taking on carpentry projects and learning on the job.
These have not been meagre: the wholesale refurbishment of a narrowboat and renovation of a Victorian terraced house have provided a steep learning curve,
which Sam has risen to with aplomb!
In his spare moments, Sam enjoys a side-line existence as a singer-songwriter, and is currently working on the release of his first EP.
Technical; Sustainability; Builder
Hugh has worked in sustainable construction in various guises, from building a habitable timber-framed treehouse in Herefordshire's Black Mountains to retrofitting houses with The Bristol Sustainable Building Company. Most recently, he completed a project with SNUG Homes, making a low-carbon, affordable Passivhaus for a Syrian refugee, and finished a 2-year training on sustainable building theory & technique under The Green Register. He now works as a self-employed carpenter/craftsman, and is in the process of establishing a green woodwork teaching program, Bristol Tree Craft.
In his spare moments, Hugh enjoys singing around a fire, and furthering his mission to achieve the perfect sourdough bagel.
Hunker Down Design is about a number of things. Yes, we make fancy cabins. Yes, they look lovely on Instagram. But in truth, just looking at our portfolio doesn’t give a full sense of what we do. Because how we do what we do is a big part of who we are. Clear as mud?
In a nutshell, we aim to create beautiful, utilitarian spaces that fit seamlessly into their surroundings, performing excellently with minimum impact on climate and ecology. But perhaps most importantly, we aim to bring joy and creativity into the protracted, painful process that commissioning a building can be. We take a client-focussed, collaborative approach to design, engaging and developing ideas so that the finished product is just the ticket, down to the very last nail. For us, it’s all in the details. And that’s key if you’re going to be spending precious time using our creation as an office space, artist’s studio, extra bedroom or just somewhere peaceful to unwind in your garden! Have a look at our Process page for a detailed breakdown of how we work.
Sustainability is another fundamental aspect of our ethos. As far as possible, we use low-carbon materials that are recycled, or else by-products of other industries. We are scrupulous when it comes to evaluating the energy savings of particular products against the energy used to produce them. We also encourage the use of reclaimed materials (such as second-hand windowpanes or reused floorboards); the extra labour is often balanced by the cost saved on materials, and the planet is undoubtedly happier. We all have a real drive towards sustainability in construction, which Hugh spent 2 years studying.
In other news, we are strong believers in the value of a 4-day working week, an adventurous approach to tea-drinking, and only objectively class tunes played on site!