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The new Summerhouse


the summerhouse is a seasonal hideaway for a hackney-based family of four. they all needed more and safe play space as the children are growing older. the new space should serve as a painter's studio, garden shed, table tennis venue and sleep-over place. developing the somewhat neglected rear of their garden became and alternative to moving away into a larger property.

the outside of this timber structure is clad in thin skins. beyond weather protection these surfaces are meant to re-enforce the presence of the garden and to frame the seasons. an 8m long mirror reflects the diverse floral range and defies the solidity and proximity of the wall it is mounted on. semi-transparent striped polycarbonate interferes with the shadows of the moving leaves above.
the summerhouse sits in the rear of an elongated victorian garden and the design attempts to screen out this urban setting. baroque ideas of illusion, distortion, camouflage and capture of nature create a contemporary, rigorous and surprising building.


london, stoke newington, 2004
client caines family
budget 35,000.00
construction period 7 weeks
structure BTA Structural Design


wood award 2005 (small projects)
aj small projects award 2005
(2nd Prize)
hackney design award 2004
shortlisted for the RIBA award 2005

wood awards 2005 the garden of minimalist delights, independent, jay merrick may 2005






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photo kilian o'sullivan