Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

ULLMAYER + SYLVESTER ARCHITECTS

  • Comment
SMALL PROJECTS 2005

Photography by Killian O'Sullivan/Lightroom

This summerhouse is at the end of a Victorian garden in north London. Our client, a family of four, wanted a low-cost, versatile, seasonal building that would allow Dad to paint away from the children and the boys an occasional sleepover in summer. Mum is a talented gardener, so a tool shed needed to be incorporated.

The structure's dimensions pay tribute to the family's obsession with table tennis.

We started with the shape of a boxy container, but soon began to mould it to make it fit its environment. We kinked it to form an intimate enclosure at the rear. We squeezed it where plants needed priority and fanned it out where the inside wanted to be generous. We formed openings to correspond with the rhythm of the tree trunks and folded the roof like a butterfly.

We found that a softwood and birch ply structure achieved all this with ease. A kinked, thin mirror reflects the diverse floral colour range and defies the solidity and proximity of a wall. Semi-transparent striped polycarbonate interferes with the shadows of moving leaves.

It is this camouflage and the capture-of-nature that make the building a real hideaway.

The structural engineer was BTA Structural Design.

Cost: £35,000

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.