In the 19th century, Thomas Jefferson designed his very own personal shed office in the Gardens of Monticello. From the cozy confines of the brick garden pavilion of the 5,000-acre property, Jefferson studied and wrote in the glow of the Virginian sunshine.
Fast-forward 200 years and office sheds of all varieties — man-caves, art studios, gazebos, home offices and huts — are often a part of the solution to scaled-down living and working at home. In a recent article in the Financial Times, architectural historian Johnathan Foyle very astutely points out that, from belvederes to garden sheds, people around the world are shedding their commute, opting for affordable, box-room-sized backyard workspaces.
In the spirit of this recent phenomenon, we’ve compiled a collection of seven office garden hideaways that appeal to the pattern of ever-changing workspaces, where it is more appealing to stroll up the garden path and cloud-commute.
Arrow was constructed as a backyard study/studio where the client could display his wife’s paintings. In order to maximize wall space and prevent theft, the building is shaped like an arrowhead, with windows at each end hidden behind screened areas.
“Shoffice” (shed+office) is a small studio office in the backyard of a terraced house. Conceived as a sculptural object, the elliptical shell spirals over glazed exposures to flow into the garden space.
Constructed on a limited budget and timeframe, this garden workplace opens into the garden thanks to the retractable oak-framed door. The far wall is completely lined with built-in shelves.
This freestanding garden studio shed is clad in durable black-varnished red-cedar shingles, with a single transparent corner of the studio that houses a rotated seating area. Approximately 2,000 shingles were sanded, hand-painted and individually mounted to the structure.
This spaceship-like shed is a live-in workspace for artistically inclined guests. The volume increases in size from front to back, such that the program varies with the volume: a utility cube with a sleeping loft, the workspace and the outdoor terrace.
With a stringent budget and only 700 square feet of space, this studio is constructed from two nine-and-a-half-foot by 40-foot by eight-foot shipping containers (which cost $2,500 each). Approximately 75 percent of the floor was cut in order to move the painting studio into the lower level, while the staircase itself acts as a transitional space to view the client’s artwork.
This workshop of painter and sculptor Alexandros Liapis is composed of three separate spaces in a shell of reinforced concrete: a cantilevered balcony that overlooks the entrance, the artist’s workspace and the storage space attic. The biomimetic quality of the ‘artist shed’ allows for the structure to converse with the Greek landscape.