Plug & Play Retreat

EKJN architects, Glasgow, 2020



Photography by Jason Kimmings     Download Original

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‘Plug & Play Retreat’ grew as a collaboration between EKJN Architects and urbanpods, to explore the delivery of crafted architectural installations to provide bespoke domestic sustainable accommodation quickly within the sector-wide restrictions of the 20

The clients are keen and enthusiastic golfers and desired internal accommodation sufficient for practicing golf and other sports within the grounds of their property through all seasons and through the unpredictable lockdowns of the 2020-2021 lockdown era. The building contains an open plan sports room, shower room and store.

The design team were keen to avoid Covid-related problems on site and so developed a ‘plug and play’ solution, in which the contractor could construct the building off-site in modules to be transported to site and connected and completed in situ.

Time on site was therefore limited to only 17 days, reducing risk of Coronavirus transmission and easily allowing completion before a successive lockdown period could otherwise have restricted work on site. The project’s contemporary design combines sustainably-sourced Western Red Cedar cladding with PPC aluminium detailing, to provide a clear architectural contrast with the existing traditional adjacent stone building. Generous glazing provides natural solar gain, while overhanging eaves allow for solar shading to avoid Summer overheating.

The project optimises sustainability and thermal comfort through its design, delivery and construction. It includes low-temperature underfloor heating and high levels of ‘Actis’ flexible insulation to provide greater airtightness, faster installation and less waste than conventional cut rigid insulation boards. Screw foundations were used to avoid substantial concrete foundations and excavations.

The build was constructed in sections off-site to help eliminate waste on site as well as lowering the build’s carbon footprint by reducing deliveries of materials and labour to site. The open-plan internal layout allows for easy adaption for alternative flexible uses where required.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was provided as follows: Estimated 14kg co2 / m2 / annum


  • Begun: Aug 2020
  • Completed: Aug 2020
  • Floor area: 36m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £89,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Mar 2020
  • Procurement: Lump sum contract
  • CO2 Emissions: 14kg/m2/year
  • Address: Bothwell, Glasgow, G71, United Kingdom

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