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Helix - Garden Room, Office and Storage - London

Client Name:

Mr and Mrs Turner

Client Comments:

We had a particular challenge – to create a building that combined a storage shed, office space and a garden room in a small garden dominated by a large oak tree – oh, and we needed covered area that could hold 4 bikes! The design that the team came up with was ingenious and ticked every box. When we had to make economies to fit our budget, they were readily achieved without losing any of the beauty of the design. The installation team were great and the finished building is fantastic. The underfloor heating warms up the room really quickly and the room is so well insulated, it keeps toasty all day. The great bi-folding doors will come into their own in the summer, I have no doubt. We love it!

Requirement

Our studios are built for many functions: offices, art or music rooms, garden rooms, annexes and of course many are multifunctional with interchangeable roles over time or depending on the season. This build was no exception needing to fulfil its' role as office space, family space and storage space, all within the confines of a tight area dominated by a beautiful oak tree. In addition the fence at the rear needed replacing which we tied into the project.

Our Solution

Design and lateral thinking were key to this build. The ancient Oak was staying and so we made a feature of it, wrapping the studio around it and incorporating a glazed panel facing onto the intricate bark of the great trunk that could be floodlit in the evenings. Children love biking but if those bicycles are awkward to get at they can be forgotten so in consultation with our client we included a substantial over hang (1.25m across) down the side of the studio under which bicycles could be stored. (The roof was reinforced to allow for the additional span.) Also neatly incorporated into this build was a store area (over 3m2) accessible from the rear, for garden equipment, tools etc. Clearly visible from the photos is the generous living area at the front which becomes one with the garden when weather permits the bifolds to be swept back. A high opening window sits on the back wall of the office to increase natural light and ensure a gentle breeze through the building on sunny days. Our buildings are expertly constructed using SIPs (structured insulated panels). These panels, which form the sides, ceiling and floor, are incredibly rigid and highly thermally efficient having no cold bridging points. They sit on concrete pile foundations capped with rubber pads. The whole structure is further insulated with a waterproof membrane, battens and secretly fixed solid wood cladding, in this instance kiln dried western red cedar. The cedar can be oiled annually but otherwise is maintenance free. The frames are anthracite grey, powder coated aluminium, with A-rated argon filled toughened glazing adding to the thermal efficiency of the studio and ensuring usability 365 days of the years with minimal energy bills.