This multipurpose pavilion with outdoor kitchen has become the hub of this west London home.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to our homes. Reviewing designs for outdoor rooms, the Coltman family soon realised that none were the perfect fit for their garden, so they turned to the architect who was already planning their extension. ‘The Coltmans had approached us to design an extension to the rear of the main house in 2011, which was already under way at the time,’ says Aoife Kelly, associate at Paul Archer Design. ‘The family had been toying with the idea of building a garden room but couldn’t find one to meet their needs. As a result, they asked us to look at designing a bespoke space that would complement the main extension.’
The kitchen within the extension was designated as the main family hub. So the Coltmans asked Kelly to make the new building a flexible studio space where they could work or relax. Kelly came up with the idea of a multipurpose pavilion and was asked to make sure it had storage for garden equipment and bikes, as well as an outdoor kitchen. Situated opposite the north-facing house, it could take advantage ofthe sunniest part of the garden.
‘Our starting point was to set the pavilion away from the boundary line and to tuck the storage to the back of the structure, providing access to the 1m-deep shed with a single large roller shutter,’ says Kelly. ‘To the front, a timber pergola would float above a limestone paved terrace, extending the pavilion further into the garden and providing a softly sheltered space for socialising.’
Kelly designed a Corian countertop that runs from the studio out to the terrace to form the worktop for the external kitchen. ‘To give the structure a lighter feeling, I arranged the timber slats of the pergola so that the spacing between them gradually increases as you move away from the countertop, allowing varying degrees of sunlight to filter through,’ she says. ‘The design of the timber trellis along the boundary line picks up the spacing of the pergola, and it also incorporates wall lighting and cooking utensil storage.’
The pavilion itself is divided into two zones: a studio at the back, with the outdoor kitchen and terrace in front. They are split by sliding glass doors that stack against the internal wall of the studio, opening up to allow the room to work as one. As the kitchen is exposed to English winters, it is vital that all its components are durable and weatherproof. To this end, the kitchen’s cabinets have been constructed from marine plywood and Richlite panels, a non-porous paper and resin composite, while the Corian solid surface on top is resistant to the freeze-thaw effect that can often crack and weather materials outside. The kitchen is finished with a built-in barbecue made from robust stainless steel.
Built under permitted development, the construction of the pavilion took four months. It has been a real hit with the family. ‘We do more cooking than before and have even taken to growing our own produce in new raised beds in the garden,’ they say. ‘We’ve found our green fingers.’
Words: Rachel Ogden, Photography: Marcus Peel