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 that is still reminiscent of the reclaimed bricks used for the garden walls.
Inside the space, which the client has dubbed the "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 both as storage and 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; it is 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 that emulates the form of the garden studio was included to add a dynamic element to the external space between the house and the bunker.