On the left bank of the River Dart in Totnes, Devon lies a row of pretty flint cottages with long front gardens
In one such home with its quintessentially English stone path, well stocked plant beds and roses over arches live a couple who were looking to have a bespoke studio in an area at the bottom of their garden.
The client’s cabin brief had its challenges not least the fact the house is located in a conservation area so would need careful design for planning permission.
Key aspirations included;
- A well proportioned structure that would fit in the narrow cottage garden.
- A small high quality modern building which incorporates natural materials.
- Corner glass to enjoy the hillside views.
- A low energy building, sustainably constructed and well insulated for year round use.
- A well constructed cabin that will last many years.
- Clever use of space to allow flexible use between relaxing and as a work space.
Cabin design and context
The design and its context had never been so fundamental to this brief.
It had to be designed to respect local context and character using natural materials that were high quality and be a space that should be seen as a positive precedence to neighbouring properties which are an assortment of incohesive garden structures.
A simple palette of materials has been chosen for the building which includes full height thermally efficient aluminium framed windows and doors, vertical larch cladding and a black metal roof. Internally the space is lined with plywood timber boards to the walls and ceiling. A punchy pink timber floor was painted which gave the cabin its uniqueness.
Bespoke plywood shelving and desk were added alongside a Hobbit Stove with its quirky blue door and granite hearth (sourced from local Dartmoor granite stone supplier)
The result is a bespoke small, high quality garden multi-use cabin measuring 4.0L x 2.75mW x 3.0mH. It was built in its entirety in our Soiuth Devon workshop and delivered by HIAB lorry and lifted into place in just one morning so that it was being used as a garden home office cabin and relaxing space the very next day.
In fact, we are reliably told that text messages are often sent to the main cottage to ‘order’ a cup of tea or G&T to be brought down so the enjoyment of the space is unbroken!