Sunday, October 24, 2021

Planning a garden office

You need to pause for thought before throwing yourself into the search for a garden office. There's obviously a lot of great advice here on Shedworking and from reputable garden office suppliers, but sometimes it's good to hear the thoughts of somebody else in the same position. Co-founder of ServerlessDays Paul Johnston is publishing his thoughts and plans in a series on Medium, starting with 'And so it begins... I need more space'. Here's a sample of his posts, Paul's ground rules for why he wants a garden office:

  1. I needed a space to do actual work. Simply put, a desk and a computer, and quiet where I could have video calls as well.
  2. I needed a space that would work in summer, winter and in the evenings, so a “glorified shed” without good insulation or heating would not be good, so I needed to consider that
  3. I needed the space to work in the garden and be usable by others. It wasn’t just going to be “my space” but might have to be repurposed as a garden space. The garden isn’t big. This is a big consideration.
  4. As environmentally friendly as possible. I’m not just going to concrete (bad) over a bit of the garden and dump a plastic filled monstrosity on it, however “aesthetically pleasing” it might look. Let’s see if it’s possible to make it good for the planet and work for us too.

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Sunday posts are sponsored by Henshalls Insurance, specialists in insuring garden offices and other garden buildings. Click here for more information.

 

Friday, October 22, 2021

To Hang

Not strictly a garden office but with definite shedlike vibes, To Hang by Kirsty Watt at Groves-Raines Architects was one of the shortlisted finalists in Building Design's recent Building [Re]Design competition, the Stratford Design Challenge which called for young architects to come up with built solutions to issues in the east London town centre.

Kirsty's excellent entry aimed to deal with the relationship young women have with public space. Here's her summary of the design:

“To Hang” is a drawing exploration of how small-scale, low cost intervention - possibly even using reclaimed materials - can provide spaces for young girls and women to pause and enjoy the outdoors. Some may choose to sit for a while and read, or play on the swings for a while, whilst some may only stop for a few minutes to wait for a friend, or to have a look at a pop up exhibition and enjoy a cup of coffee. Fundamentally, the structure is flexible and malleable to the needs of the local community at that point in time; it can be moved along rails, extended, or closed as and when required, with girls and young women fully in control.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Autonomous work pod

Here's the WorkPod from US home office specialists Autonomous who have some bold claims to make about it... It's an insulated plywood build with a bitumen and composite wood cladding, coming in at around 8.5ft x 12ft, with a sloping roof and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. According to Autonomous, "it only takes a few enjoyable hours to complete the ultimate Lego set for adults. Don’t hire a bunch of contractors to build an extension and waste the better part of a year." Hmmm...

WorkPods come pre-wired and with air conditioning (you can see the plans here) and have an adjustable foundation mechanism if you're on slopey ground. Moreover, "WorkPod is wind, rain, snow, and humidity-resistant. Comfortable whether it’s -60 or 122 °F outside, and securely elevated to combat insects, heat, water, and mold." So there you have it.

Free shipping anywhere in the US but at the moment not available elsewhere on the planet.

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Hanare Zenzen: tiniest garden office ever?



We've covered various small builds for Shedworking over the years but it's hard to see anything beating the Hanare Zenzen from Japanese property specialist KI Star Real Estate which comes in at .9m (yes!) x 1.8m. 
 
It's aimed squarely at the new market for garden offices created by the coronavirus pandemic ('hanare' means 'separate' in Japanese, and 'zenzen' is a play on the idea of zen taken to the max) and for people who really don't have much outside space at all at their property. Features include power sockets, a desk, and, er, that's it. It's only currently available in and around Tokyo.

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Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Architects' mirrored garden office

Another magnificent addition to the mirrored garden office folder, a garden office for an architectural practice in Beaufays, Liège, Belgium, from architects MIA. The timber frame is clad in reflective cladding which works particularly well in the lightly forested location, the windows hidden behind translucent glass. Lots more marvellous photos at the link above.

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  Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of                    contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of     which do not require planning


 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Bussum garden studio

Some Netherlands-based shedworking today, courtesy of Serge Schoemaker Architects and this fine multi-purpose garden office in Bussum which is also used for putting up guests and useful storage. Here's what the architects say about it:

"The challenge to fit a relatively large structure in a long, narrow garden resulted in an elongated plan. A geometric form entirely clad in shingles, combined with the transparent corner and rotated siting at the rear of the garden lends the studio a distinct presence and identity."

Features include black-varnished red cedar shingle cladding (2,000 were sanded and painted by hand), floor to ceiling windows, built-in desk, and an interior of white-lacquered birch plywood, fitted together like a jigsaw. 

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Log garden studio craft business



One of the many perks of garden rooms is the extra space they can add to a home without the need for time-consuming – often expensive – extension works. Francoise Read found the perfect Norwegian Log contemporary log room to run her craft business from her own garden, freeing up precious space in her kitchen. Before finding the perfect garden studio, her work area was essentially her kitchen table where she used to design her products for card and scrapbook. 

After deciding to create a stand-alone space dedicated to her craft, Francoise and her husband Paul visited Norwegian Log’s showroom in Reading. The Reads chose a 7.5m x 4m design, the largest model the company offers under 30m², which didn’t require building regulations or planning permission. “We also chose this model because it fits with the type of house we have got – it’s modern, it’s open, it fits every sort of criteria we were looking for,” says Paul. “We were so impressed with the building team themselves, right from design to coming down and reviewing our requirements. Most importantly, the actual construction of it, I was so impressed with how it was done. I have to say the workmanship was really good.”

This glass-front garden studio gives Francoise a great view of her large garden, allowing her to be inspired by her natural surroundings. “You are more or less sitting in the garden – you’ve got the sun coming in, all the light, it’s really airy, it’s perfect for my job, it makes me even more creative than I am already,” she says about her new garden room. With a full wall of double glazed bi-fold doors, the studio benefits from great natural light and, with a large craft table strategically placed near the doors, Francoise can make the most of natural daylight. The studio also boasts plenty of shelving, a television with music system, and a comfortable swivel chair. 

“I can either sit in my chair and draw, or work from the table. I like having the doors fully open from late spring. The building also has air conditioning so if it’s really hot outside I can close the doors and work in comfort” says Francoise. Having a private space to dedicate to your arts and crafts – whether this is your profession or a hobby – can help you maintain your focus and inspiration. As Francoise says, a garden room or studio “is somewhere for me to get away, to be in my own zone. I absolutely love it and it’s been a brilliant addition to the house."

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Welcome to your new teak garden room from Moonalabs. Unparalleled quality at an affordable price.

 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Peter Johansson's Family Therapy shed art

Shed-based art seems to be in something of the doldrums at the moment, so it's lovely to see this -Familjeterapy (trans: Family Therapy) - from Swedish artist Peter Johansson. It's currently on show at the Kivik Art Center in Österlen on the east coast of Skåne, Sweden. As a representation of his own experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional hoome, the cabin slowly begins to spin as visitors approach. More images at the artist's website here.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Meadow Retreat


Here's a rather dreamy garden office possibility, The Meadow Retreat from William Llloyd, founded by Stephen Roe, has a wraparound cantilever veranda. Made from European Redwood with Western red cedar shingle roof, with recycled plastic and paper insulation. Inside is a storage bench, drop leaft table, and shelving, with vinyl oak effect on the exterior ply floor. And the whole thing sits on four concrete pads. The standard model is 8.5ft x 8.5ft with a 4ft veranda, but it can be bespoked.

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Biophilic interior designs for your garden office


Two new possibilities for decorating the walls of your garden office from wallpaper specialists Graham & Brown who say they are predicting an "Oxygenating botanicals trend" this year and have consequently released the designs above, Fiore (top) and Nuit (above).

“One of the key trends for this season, Biophilia is the inspiration for both Nuit and Fiore as it brings the outside in and connects us with natural elements," said Paula Taylor, colour & trend specialist at Graham & Brown. "This connection is of ever-increasing importance to our health and wellbeing in urban society as research has shown that even indirect elements of nature help reduce stress, blood pressure and heart rates and promotes wellbeing. Fiore with its larger scale and botanical silhouette brings a soothing influence to any room allowing you to be at one with nature wherever you may be. Nuit brings a sense of calm to the room with beautifully illustrated botanical flowers and birds creating a relaxing mood.”

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Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Historic demountable building goes to auction today

Technically this is a house, although at 6m x 9m, it could definitely be used as a large co-shedworking garden office space. It was the brainchild of French designer Jean Prouvé (1901-84) who came up with the prefab idea for families who had been made homeless during the second world war. Made of timber, painted steel, corrugated aluminium, and glass, it could be built in a day. A great idea, but only 400 were ever made and one of the few remaining examples is coming up for auction today at Bonham's in London, estimate around the £220-£280k mark.

Marcus McDonald, UK Director, Modern Decorative Art + Design, said: "The demountable house was both a practical solution to an immediate problem and an important design landmark. These stylish small-scale architectural feats are now highly sought-after design works, appearing in galleries around the world, and inspiring new generations of makers. We are very excited to be able to offer a superlative example – which until quite recently had remained in the same family collection since it was acquired."

 

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  Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of                    contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of     which do not require planning

Monday, October 11, 2021

Red pods...

You very rarely see red garden offices and this build from Pods of Wales is certainly very eyecatching. Sadly, this is only part way through the build, a bird hide pod. In fact, this is the waterproof membrane that goes under the larch cladding - the finished product is pictured below (it still looks smashing though).


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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Rooftop shedworking in London


More evidence that shedworking is becoming a part of everyday working routines comes from property developers Quintain who have installed various shedlike buildings at their fairly luxurious properties in London. Pictured top are bookable rooftop garden offices at their flagship development, Canada Gardens, and above are three custom-built camper vans at their The Robinson development. What they describe as their "designer sheds" are fully fitted with with power, heating, lighting and wifi, and can be booked by homeworking residents for exclusive use for £10 an hour, 7a, until 11pm daily. The camper vans come in at £15 (6am-11pm) but two people can share the office space. Danielle Bayless, chief operating officer at Quintain Living, said the company regarded the move as part of a longterm strategy to include less traditional working from home spaces in their buildings.

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Sunday posts are sponsored by Henshalls Insurance, specialists in insuring garden offices and other garden buildings. Click here for more information.

 

 

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Small garden office


I'm writing an article for a magazine at the moment about small garden offices and here's one I hadn't come across befor,e the 2.4m x 2m timber Office Cube from Norfolk-based Wood Wizards. Clad in our old friend Western Red Cedar, the rear in Anthracite Grey, features include French doors, lockable windows, wall/roof/floor insulation, and LED lights. They also produce glamping pods with a curved element which, while not directly aimed at the homeworking market, would also make great garden offices. You can see plenty more images at their Instagram page.

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Welcome to your new teak garden room from Moonalabs. Unparalleled quality at an affordable price.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Garden office composting toilet

A common question non-shedworkers ask about garden offices is 'what about when you need to go to the toilet?'. One of the answers is that you can simply have a composting toilet installed in a side section of your build, such as the WooWoo GT system - it needs no water and no electricity, is entirely odourless and basically only requires you to lob in a handful of sawdust/wood shavings after each visit (this adds carbon to the nitrogen in the urine/faeces which, with moisture and oxygen, aids the composting). If you have any remaining doubts, do click on the link above for more information.

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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.
 

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Partly brick garden office


A halfway house between brick and timber, not a combination often seen in garden offices, but it works very nicely here in this example from Summit Architecture.

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Malcolm Guite: shedworker


We've touched on poet, priest, and musician Malcolm Guite's shed poetry previously, so it's nice to actually get a look around his writing shed, pictured above, which he calls The Temple of Peace. He gives us a tour, and a reading of his latest Arthurian tale, in the video below.

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Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.