The Brexit Bunker

RISE Design Studio, London, 2019


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This sunken garden room by RISE Design Studio was envisioned as a way of adding a new studio and extending the program of the house, without having to intervene in the existing portion of the building

The Garden Studio sits, or rather nests, at the rear of a small garden connected by a paved patio that has also been remodelled by the firm. Inside the space, which the client jokingly calls “the Brexit bunker”, one is surprised by a warm atmosphere filled with light that touches playfully on the built-in joinery made of birch plywood.

A series of units work as storage as well as Spanish steps that lead towards the rooflight, under which one can relax surrounded by the sounds of birds without any visual hint that they are in the city instead of the country. The proximity to the railway line seeps into the design through its materials, serving as a pivot point between the clay pavers of the patio and the rusted metal of the Garden Studio that sits in relationship to the house in the same way the railway tracks would to the platform.

The design of the external elements is centred around a desire to create a raw aesthetic that ties the entire garden together- with rusted metal as the signature look, dark clay pavers that mediate the outdoor aesthetic with the original brick texture of the house, and the bits of green that bring life into the space.

Photography by Edmund Sumner


  • Begun: Aug 2018
  • Completed: Nov 2019
  • Floor area: 20m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £105,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Aug 2018
  • Procurement: Private Commission
  • Address: Purves Road, London, NW10, United Kingdom

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