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Our Top 5 Garden Grabs

This month we’re sharing our favourite garden grabs. These are buildings which make use of unloved or underused gardens to create spaces for living, working or playing. We’re often asked to design new homes on difficult garden plots so we’re always interested in unusual, architectural garden grabs.  These are a collection of the projects that have inspired us recently.

We’ve also asked Ben Skinner-Watts to suggest his favourite project this month. Ben is currently completing a self-build renovation of his home with his wife Hannah which was designed by us. He also designed and constructed his own garden office so he’s well versed in the challenges and opportunities of garden grabbing.

Writer’s Shed – Surman Weston

There’s something lovely about calling a building as well crafted as this a “shed”. The layering of glass and timber creates a delightful outlook into the garden for the author as they write and allows something that looks quite solid during the day to glow at night. A beautiful project. [Paul]

Garden House – Hayhurst & Co

I love how the architect’s have made the most of this tight garden plot. They’ve made full use of the roof by creating a highly sculptural, tiered garden. They’ve also cleverly used glazing to create a bright and spacious interior despite the site’s constraints. [Alan]

Gloucester Studio, Gloucester

It’s hard not to admire the spirit of opening your own restaurant in your back garden, particularly because you don’t want to work in somebody else’s kitchen!

But there’s something also quietly seductive and warm in the simple idea that guests sit and eat together, surrounding the fireplace where their meal is cooked before them over an open flame.

Although the prices are fairly steep… [Liam]

The Dovecote – AZO Sequeira Arquitectos Associados
I really like this bold and minimalist design. The “floating effect” of the new concrete playroom above the original stone building is so pleasing! [Julie]
Westbury Garden Room – WGR

Here’s an example by Westbury Garden Rooms (2014), that went on to inspire the design of my own garden room. I love the unfussy straight lines of the cedar cladding, and contrasting dark grey full length windows and doors, that let in lots of sunlight. [Ben Skinner-Watts]

For this month’s post we’ve invited Ben Skinner-Watts to share his favourite garden grab project. Ben Skinner–Watts: studied horticulture, became a cabinet maker, built a garden room and is currently renovating his home in Fulwood with his wife Hannah, designed by Paul. He has just enrolled to study Architecture BSc at Sheffield Hallam in September 2018.