The Sunday Stuga

Liddicoat & Goldhill, London, 2012


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

East elevation 

Tom Gildon (website)     Download Original

  • East elevation    
  • The Sunday Stuga in context    
  • Serrated cedar shingle roof    
  • Interior view looking west    
  • View looking north    
  • Exterior façade    
  • Timber structure detail    
  • Recessed low-energy lighting    
  • Window seat detail    
  • Close up detail of shingle roof    
  • Plan    
  • Elevations    
  • Sections    
  • Exploded axometric drawing    
  • Section details drawing    

A simple and sustainable new build wooden garden retreat for working, relaxing and entertaining friends

The Sunday Stuga was built for a keen environmentalist in need of extra space for working, relaxing and entertaining friends. The design revels in the assembly of simple, sustainable materials.

The name ‘Stuga’ originates from Scandinavia where people retreat to ascetic rural cabins to enjoy fresh air, privacy and time for contemplation. The Nordic use of timber inspired the materiality of the project; different wooden elements were chosen for their aesthetic, functional, sustainable or structural qualities.

The new pavilion sits in a green oasis, bounded on all sides by the massive, brick-built Victorian villas that typify the Camden Square Conservation Area. Our design is a lightweight counterpoint to these hard, cliff-like structures.

The main façade is inclined towards the south to gather sunlight and enjoy views of blossoming fruit trees in neighbouring gardens. The roofline above is serrated to provide shading at the hottest parts of the day and to accommodate nearby trees on the site.

Having already upgraded her Victorian garden flat to exacting energy-efficiency standards, our client came to Liddicoat & Goldhill to create a special new space nestling at the bottom of her garden. The construction materials and methods were selected to minimise use and waste of natural resources during building, occupation and disposal of the structure.

The design revels in the assembly of simple materials. The concrete shed it replaced was crushed to provide aggregate for the new foundations; the excavated clay was compacted to form the new screed; the structure is all sustainably-sourced softwood; concealed low-energy lighting provides a gentle, even glow to the interior; the building is finished in sustainable and durable cedar shingles; the bio-climatic form maximises availability of natural light and heat from the sun within, while the super-insulated skin prevents loss of heat; the large roof gathers rainwater for irrigation.

Augmenting these timber elements are recycled materials such as salvaged slates & paving slabs etc., while the use of water butts mitigate storm water runoff and the low flow toilet, taps & shower further save drinking water.


  • Begun: Oct 2011
  • Completed: Apr 2012
  • Floor area: 23m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £90,000
  • Tender date: Aug 2011
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • CO2 Emissions: 5kg/m2/year
  • Address: Garden Flat, 3 South Villas, London, NW1 9BS, United Kingdom

Professional Team