Ahhh, the British summer. The UK is now possibly in the midst of the wettest summer since records began, but, if we can find any positives out of this, it’s that it makes our gardens and parks wonderfully lush and green. I’m lucky enough to have a lovely garden, but I have no shelter there, so at the first sign of rain we’re all packed up and back indoors, where we don’t have patio doors to admire the view. This got me thinking of the innovative structures that designers have created to help you make more of your garden, and add an extra living space.
Now, before we go any further, I should state that we’re not talking about your regular gazebo or summer house here. This is not about the affordable solution for a few summer evenings, this is about permanent structures that add an extra room to your home. Costing about the same as an extension to your house, these creative pods are adaptable spaces that can be made into home offices, lounges, dining rooms, or even self-contained guests units complete with bathrooms.
These innovative garden structures won’t fit into everyone’s budget, but if you do want to extend and fancy something a bit different, consider adding an extra room at the bottom of your garden, instead of on the end of your house.
Space-age style for a quirky addition to your plot:
Roost UK’s garden pods come in three shapes: the oval, which has one side almost entirely made of glass, to allow lots of light in, and views out; the aluminium rectangle, like a metallic Battenburg, includes a micro-kitchen, shower, loo and living area; and last, but not least, the “stealth”, which echoes the multi-angled surface of a high-tech aircraft. Prices start at £17,630.
Archipod make sustainable office pods “specifically designed to complement a garden landscape, be efficient, ergonomic, and unusual”. The pod’s domed roof lets lots of light in, and it’s bigger than you imagine on the inside. Standard pods typically cost £15,000 plus VAT.
The contemporary take on a traditional garden building:
The Armadilla, as featured in our post about Grand Designs Live, is another timber-framed pod. Available as a garden office, garden room or guest bedroom, you also get a choice of layouts and fittings. The “Xtra Room” has space for two to sleep, and can have an ensuite toilet and shower room, kitchenette, music and lighting systems. It’s been added to some B&Bs already! Prices start from £7,450 for a small garden room.
Apropos produce a range of slightly more conventional, but still strikingly modern, garden structures. The slick wood and glass garden buildings will work in almost any garden. Their Atelier Garden Studios cost from £25,000.
The ultra-ultra modern (and completely unaffordable) architectural wonders:
The Blob VB3 by dmvA Architects is a giant pebble from space that opens to reveal an adaptable living area, complete with a shower and toilet cubicle concealed at one end. Perfect for the sci-fi fan who wants to wake up with the illusion they’re on a spaceship!
The Fincube by Studio Aisslinger is a stunning piece of architecture and my absolute favourite. Unlikely I’ll have the space or the funds for it, but I can dream! (“Prices on request” generally means “out of my price range”.) The Fincube is not just a garden studio, it’s a complete self-contained, sustainable living unit.