Friday, June 08, 2007

Andy Sturgeon on garden offices

Andy Sturgeon is another of the new generation of garden designers who is interested in incorporating garden office and shed structures into his work, as evidenced by his show gardens at Chelsea Flower Show (pictured is his 2005 design). He writes on this subject in the latest issue of the Garden Design Journal, talking about the need for garden designers to "flex our architectural muscles and tackle the design of garden buildings and structures, however complex." Sturgeon does a quick whizz through the history of garden buildings, points out the advantages of a garden building (cheaper than an extension, adds value to property) and discusses the pros and cons of bespoke vs off the peg when buying. "There are no hard and fast rules to selecting suitable building styles and materials, only guidelines," he writes.
"It is often sensible to make a garden structure relate to the main house, either in terms of the architectural style or the materials, in order to create a sense of harmony and unity within the overall design. This is particularly true when buildings are in relatively close proximity to each other and can be seen together in the same view. Where a building is totally removed from the other it becomes more important for it to relate to the immediate landscape. Yet conversely, a fiercely modern building next to one of historical merit can work — the huge number of glass box extensions appearing behind chicly renovated Victorian houses in London are testament to this. However, when contrasting architecture is juxtaposed like this a different set of rules applies and it is often the choice of materials that is paramount, with simplicity and minimalism being key in order to avoid conflict."
You can read the full article here.

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