Design Inspiration

A Room with a View

The Modern Edit rounds up a selection of the best garden studios.

Over the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of design professionals working from home and for most, it was likely to start happening more frequently in the near future. As of a few weeks ago however, the UK government have enforced working from home where possible and, as a result, this has sparked an overnight revolution in the workplace. Especially in London, where renting office space is at a premium, it may actually make sense for many of us to make working from home more permanent. 

However, one of the main issues that you may have found, especially if your home does not already have a dedicated office or study, is that carving out somewhere to work alongside other home workers, children and dogs can be quite a challenge. If you are lucky enough to have some outdoor space, then creating a garden studio may be an option. By dedicating a completely separate space for working, this would also have the added benefit of helping to maintain a decent work/ life balance. With this in mind, The Modern Edit has done a round up of our three favourites.

The Light Shed by architect Richard John Andrews

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After completing an extension to his London terraced house, Richard John Andrews moved onto designing a home office for his growing architectural practice. One of the main reasons we liked this project was actually due to the fact that access to the garden was very limited and therefore all the materials used had to be lightweight enough to carry through the house and the entire construction had to be done on site by hand. 

The choice of plywood creates a minimal yet warm interior and the polycarbonate roof panels allow a large amount of diffused light to flood the space.

The final outcome is a great example of what can be done with a low budget and site constraints and although it is likely the practice will outgrow the space in the near future, it will remain a great home office for the architect and his family. 

Writers Shed by Surman Weston

Surman Weston designed this beautiful shed in collaboration with architect and maker Joseph Deane. The client was an author and illustrator and their passion for children’s literature and mythologies is evident in the final design. In my opinion, this fairytale style hut really comes alive at night when the entire building seems to glow from behind the cedar façade.

During the day, a large skylight allows plenty of indirect North facing light into the room to create optimal working conditions for the illustrator. A central log fire and asymmetrical bookcase makes the interior feel fun, cosy and inviting. 

A Room in the Garden by Studio Ben Allen

The third garden studio we’ve chosen is this unique workspace designed by Studio Ben Allen which was envisioned by the clients as a way of reducing congestion in their busy household. Instead of relocating to the suburbs, the London based couple decided to extend into their garden by creating this multipurpose space for family members to work, play and even sleep if necessary. Their main criteria were that it needed to be sustainable, easy to assemble and disassemble and budget friendly which led to the unusual and innovative design. The clients also requested the use of VOC-free materials and therefore the architects, who specialize in well-being and health, selected finishes that had a low environmental impact. 

Due to the tight budget constraints, the design team had to be clever with material selection and fabrication. A series of noted and pre-drilled plywood and MDF elements were formed using a CNC machine to speed up construction on site and the green colour was chosen to “surreally camouflage” the building with its surroundings.  

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