A Room in the Garden

Studio Ben Allen, South west London, 2018


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


    Download Original

  • a_room_in_the_garden_20190517_001_original    
  • a_room_in_the_garden_20190517_021_original    
  • 01_a_room_in_the_garden_window_view_edit    
  • 02_a_room_in_the_garden_doors_edit    
  • 03_a_room_in_the_garden_facade    
  • 06_a_room_in_the_garden_room_overview    
  • 08_a_room_in_the_garden_play    
  • 09_a_room_in_the_garden_seat    
  • 10_a_room_in_the_garden_bed_0    
  • a_room_in_the_garden_20190517_005    
  • a_room_in_the_garden_20190517_015-b    
  • 07_a_room_in_the_garden_ceiling_edit    
  • 05_a_room_in_the_garden_desk_study    
  • a_room_in_the_garden_20190517_012    
  • 01_plan_aj    
  • line_drawings_bw    

A Room in the Garden is part garden folly, part “other space”

It is intended to relieve the congestion of the urban home and provide a space for family members to work, play, read, sleep or to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet. Packed with innovation, it is designed as both product and building. It is intended to be simple enough for self-build assembly and reassembly, coming as a flat pack kit of parts, fully fabricated on a CNC machine.

It is ultra low VOC both in assembly and use and embraces the principals of circular design in that it can be fully demounted and re-erected. As well as being driven by the desire to innovate in terms of the construction approach, we have striven to make A Room in the Garden, above all, a work of architecture. Architecturally it is designed to exude the playfulness of a folly, with the patterned green cladding is intended to partially and surreally camouflage the building in its natural surroundings.

The geometry of the architecture is an interplay of changing geometric forms. The octagonal wall structure rises to form a hexagonal roof which then frames a square skylight. The main timber columns that support the walls converge to form a truss like structure that supports the roof. The interior is designed to adapt with the seasons: providing a sense of tactile warmth during the winter months, the large double doors enabling it to be opened to the garden in summer. The exposed timber structure which rises to the ceiling converging and framing the skylight, gives a central focal point and top light, ideal when seeking a place to read or for quiet contemplation.

Photography by Ben Tynegate


  • Begun: Nov 2018
  • Completed: Dec 2018
  • Floor area: 12m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £28,500
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Nov 2018
  • Procurement: JCT Homeowner - contractor (with consultant)
  • Address: South west London, SW15, United Kingdom

Professional Team