Brexit Bunker

This sunken garden room by RISE Design Studio was envisioned as a way of adding a new studio and extending the program of the house, without having to intervene in the existing portion of the building.

The Garden Studio sits, or rather nests, at the rear of a small garden connected by a patio paved in clay pavers, a contemporary addition but inline with the reclaimed bricks used for the garden walls.

Inside the space, which the client jokingly calls the “Brexit Bunker”, one is surprised by a warm atmosphere filled with light that touches playfully on the built-in joinery made of birch plywood. A series of units work as storage as well as Spanish steps that lead towards the rooflight, under which one can relax surrounded by the sounds of birds without any visual hint that they are in the city instead of the country, a place of sanctuary.

The design of the external elements is centred around a desire to create a raw aesthetic that ties the entire garden together- with rusted metal (black mild steel which was left to rust naturally, inspired by the railway line directly behind), dark clay pavers that mediate the outdoor aesthetic with the original brick texture of the house and the fern tree and shrubs that bring life and contrast into the space. A rotating pivot light was included to add a dynamic element to the external space between house and bunker, the light was designed to emulate the form of the garden studio.

Questions and Answers

– What was the brief?
To create a Garden Studio which was a complete contrast to the main house

– Who are the clients and what’s interesting about them?
Clients are owners of a company that is a leading broadcast facility and crewing company, specialising in digital 35mm and full frame cameras

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– How is the project unique?
Form, context, materials. The black mild steel has been left to weather naturally. The form was highly contextual in the sense that one neighbour was more sensitive to the proposal and the other neighbour was very supportive of the proposal.

– What are the sustainability features?
Highly insulated, south facing glazing.

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