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Haddon Lake House — a Self-build Home in a Restored Historic Setting

This website documents the story of a unique self-build project, combined with an historic garden restoration in the Undercliff, a favoured micro-climate of the Isle of Wight, in the UK.

The site is the two-acre lake and walled garden complex of ‘Old Park’, part of the original pleasure grounds of a significant Victorian marine residence dating from 1832. Early last century this important designed landscape was split from its mansion house, eventually becoming disused and overgrown, but still retaining a mysterious and beguiling grandeur — once memorably described as a “miniature ‘Lost Garden of Heligan’ in a magical seaside setting”.

Planning permission was given to Phillippa Lambert (landscape designer) and Steve Lambert (architectural illustrator) in May 2002 for a new build private house at Old Park as part of their initiative for the restoration of the landscape to take place. This permission came with the proviso that this total reinstatement be completed within two years.

Within the two-year timeframe, the landscape was again vibrant with a revitalised lake, working fountain and cascades, restored walled potager garden, new subtropical planting, and contemporary courtyard to the rear of the house.

By 2006 the Haddon Lake House itself was complete, a contemporary Japanese-influenced 'boat house' that decks out over its lake, uniting architecture with the landscape, and providing studios for Phillippa and Steve Lambert, in partnership as Lake House Design.

Many visitors see the gardens each year as part of an open access policy.

Both garden and house have been widely featured in the media, photographed in the process by some of the world’s most talented garden photographers, whose dazzling portfolios tell the story in a way that words cannot equal.