FurnitureMark Tuckey, Alex Earl, Ross Gardam
Text description provided by the architects. The outcome of this project manifests from an attempt to resolve the conflicting attributes of a complex brief: a desire to entertain and a need to retreat, for openness and enclosure, light and dark, sound without noise.
How can a small piece of architecture address an individual’s personal neurotic condition juxtaposed with a highly activated and social environment? It was this challenging and specific brief established by the chronic sleeping disorder suffered by one of the clients, that underpinned the success of the ‘Garden Pavilion’.
The explorative method of design was heavily anchored through in-depth collaborative discourse, to understand not only the condition itself but all the tendrils and consequences of it.
A curved footprint met the need for isolation without losing connectivity and served to refract sound and control heat gain. This planning strategy provides a place of respite and refuge while sharing a vista of the established garden with the main living space.
The tapered space formed an anchor for the entire project. Designed to control its environment, primarily light and sound. The space’s perforated acoustic ceiling panels provide sound clarity and quietening, while heavily insulated walls and double doors with custom seals, form airgaps, strengthening the acoustic condition.
Charred timber clad shutters enclose the sanctuary. Shou sugi ban, the process of charring, created an unrefined tactile experience for the client, while creating long-term natural protection. Satisfying the client’s need for a sophisticated response with a straightforward/low-tech process, the corner shutters, with the use of industrial tarp straps and carabiner hooks, can be manually sealed.
Connected by a spine of exposed blockwork on the southern wall, the broader house follows a more open and adaptable plan. Directing and expanding itself towards the established garden of olive and lemon trees. Steel window frames form a curved threshold whilst roof pop-ups allow northern light to access the space, subtly delineating program.
In addition to the spatial and atmospheric conditions that respond to the client’s heightened spatial awareness, the project’s environmental systems were of utmost importance to the client and became a fundamental influence. A number of technical measures were employed for optimised passive heating and cooling, maximising daylight levels and natural ventilation, and minimising disruptive noise levels. Considered a live project, both technical and spatial strategies will be monitored by the client and architect as the project matures.