Contemporary Garden House


Three years after the completion of their bluff house, former clients asked their architect to return to the site and design a small garden house. The garden house needed to be compatible with their contemporary residence and also serve as a highly functional work space.

A flat and accessible site just downhill from the house was chosen. It was aligned with the leading edge of the house so it is visible when approaching the front door. The materials, roof pitches, and detailing of the house recall that of the residence but differ enough to avoid the appearance of being a miniature version of the bluff house.

The garden house parti consists of two shifted squares. The larger square contains the real work space, where planting and potting occurs. The smaller area houses yard tools and contains a coiling door large enough to receive the bed of the client’s pickup truck. The square forms are extruded and capped with a simple roof planes – simple sheds joined on one end, sloping in opposite directions, and stretching to one side to provide cover for wood storage. The end result of careful coordination with the client and thoughtful design decisions is garden house that is not just an outbuilding, but an integral component of the site.

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