Suspended Shade

Paul McAneary Architects, London, 2015


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  • Lower Ground Floor Plan    
  • Rear Garden Plan    
  • Section 1    
  • Section 2    
  • Section 3    
  • Bespoke Lighting Detail    

Built as part of the remodelling of a Grade II-listed house to create a new family home, Suspended Shade functions as a discrete garden pavilion

Conceived as part of the remodelling of a Grade II-listed building in Hampstead to create a new family home, Suspended Shade is an installation piece which functions as a discrete garden pavilion.

Offering shelter from both sun and rain, it can be used in all weathers as a space for relaxation, contemplation or entertainment.

Constructed from ribs of oak and steel, its dramatically cantilevered roof canopy pushes the capacity of ordinary materials to their limits.

Based on the geometry of a cube with three of its six sides removed, the abstracted ‘unsupported’ form appears to defy gravity, engendering a compelling sensation of structural lightness and spatial fluidity.

Vertical solid oak sections are deliberately offset to enhance the impression of transparency, intensifying the visual and formal drama.

After dark, the pavilion’s ribbed planes are articulated and illuminated by LED lighting concealed in bespoke brass cylinders.

This practical sleight of hand extends to a hidden footwell and hatch cut into the solid bamboo floor, where, in a subtle domestic touch, a power socket allows for making tea.

The structure is also sufficiently stable and robust to permit a hammock to be slung from it during summer days.

Cultivating a sense of seamlessness, the floor deck is set flush at garden level, with drainage concealed in a voluptuously haptic flow of black river pebbles.

Exploring an aesthetic of spare, stripped-down beauty underscored by thoughtful constructional rigour, the pavilion has a tectonic presence and clarity that belies its modest scale.


  • Begun: Apr 2013
  • Completed: Jan 2015
  • Sector: House
  • Tender date: Jan 2013
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate Building Contract with Contractor's Design
  • Address: Hampstead, London, NW3 , United Kingdom

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