Garden Studio

Mark Thomas Architects

This garden studio is the admirable product of an owner who is both the architect and builder, who has found joy in the making a jewel of a building, just in time for lockdown.
Many previously city-commuters are choosing to work from home. This project is an example of responding to this need, in a wonderful and sensitive manner. Its typology becomes a thought-provoking example of how to densify a suburban plot, through good design principles to create an appropriate addition to the site.
This building conveys a delightfully experimental approach towards making and detailing. Simple in form, the layers of complexity are in the detail. The building is a simple lean-to structure which blurs the lines between inside and outside. A sustainable architectonic is intrinsic to the making. The façade allows in natural light through double-glazed steel windows, with a green ‘eyebrow’ which creates screening in summer and allows sun in during winter. Ventilation is always hidden from view around the building, including sliding ventilation slots between the rafters. A wood burning fireplace warms the studio during winter and rain water is harvested into a custom corrugated water tank.
Much care was taken in the choice of materials which were chosen for cost reasons, durability and delight. Another interesting aspect was that materials were chosen to be examples of different options and applications, allowing the building to become a type of architectural library in its very form.
The building feels timeless in its nature. The placement of the garden studio is sensitive and creates a welcoming connection between the studio and garden, opening out into a courtyard which extends the design studio to an external ‘boardroom’ under a beautiful old fig tree.
The joy is in the masterful detailing, often bringing a smile in moments of surprise as you experience the building.

Architects:Mark Thomas Architects

Engineer:Gus Venter, Stac

Brickwork:KT Constructs

Steel Structure:Prokon Services

Steel Doors & Windows:Cecil McCloen

Timber Doors & Windows:Mr Peck

Sugar Gum Floors:Kimon Mamacos, fitted by Neil Terry

Kitchen:SA Kitchen