Writers Studio

Beasley Dickson Architects, London, 2018


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Agnese Sanvito     Download Original

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A dilapidated summer house at the end of a wild London garden is renovated as a writing studio.

The client’s brief was for contemporary space with a ‘cabin-like’ quality, to act as a refuge from the main house. The brief evolved to embody a series of elemental additions: the plinth, roof, screens and hearth alongside existing structural steels and joists that were exposed.

A stone plinth with a sunken plunge pool and reflecting pond is introduced, at once lifting the building from the garden and grounding it in the site; internally appearing as the hearth for a wood-burning stove.

The roofline is extended, projecting over the south elevation as an external porch mediating between the private interior room and shared garden. A large triangular sliding rooflight opens to the sky. A series of slatted timber screens provide solar protection, separating from the distractions of the main house when closed. The slats rotate at ninety degrees between screens, casting ever shifting patterns of light and shade.

The open-plan room is simply arranged as workspace and seating with a kitchen and WC concealed by timber cladding. A planted courtyard is formed between the building and garden wall with an external shower.

A simple palette of reclaimed cladding, oiled oak floorboards and hot rolled steel cabinetry that will patinate over time further enhances the tactile quality of the space.


  • Begun: Apr 2017
  • Completed: Jan 2018
  • Floor area: 40m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £170,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: May 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Minor works
  • Address: London, United Kingdom

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