Knole Gatehouse – A Small Space for The National Trust in Kent

Dubbed Knole Gatehouse, this small building is set on the grounds of a historic palace in South-east England. The project was carried out by the British architecture firm NORD, who were in turn commissioned by The National Trust (a conservation organisation in England).


Knole Gatehouse - NORD Architecture - Knole Estate UK - Exterior 2 - Humble Homes

The gatehouse is set at near the entrance of Knole House in Sevenoaks, Kent. According to the architects: “The 15-century property has been occupied by the descendants of Thomas Sackville – a cousin to Queen Elizabeth I – since 1603”. The property is still owned by the family to this day, however, some areas are open to the public.


Knole Gatehouse - NORD Architecture - Knole Estate UK - Exterior 1 - Humble Homes

The Knole Gatehouse consists of a timber structure set on top of a concrete plinth. The exterior has been clad with charred timber, apparently in reference to a fire that occurred in 1987. It was intentionally designed to look like a shed: “The sculpted shape of the building is cut from a simple shed typology.”


Knole Gatehouse - NORD Architecture - Knole Estate UK - Exterior 3 - Humble Homes

Unlike the exterior, the interior is finished in light wood, helping to maintain an airy atmosphere. This, combined with the tall windows, helps to prevent the rather diminutive structure from feeling cramped. The inside of the gatehouse features a wrap-around desk with plenty of built-in storage.

Knole Gatehouse - NORD Architecture - Knole Estate UK - Exterior 4 - Humble Homes

There’s no mention of what it’s to be used for, but given that it’s been commissioned by The National Trust, it’s probably related to the maintenance of the grounds and surrounding forest.

Knole Gatehouse - NORD Architecture - Knole Estate UK - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

For more small and unusual spaces check out Dave Moult’s steampunk teardrop trailer. Or, this Belgian home that features a smart space-saving bedroom. See all spaces.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Leon Chew

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. I like it but question is if using it as a guard shack, is there separate room for kitchenette and bathroom or if used in a different environment, does it have a space for bedroom and can the windows be darkening at night for added security and does it have electricity?