A garden studio that slots together
Architect Ben Allen's distinctive design was devised with precision for ease of assembly
Precision cut off-site, this garden studio is both robust and adaptable. Architect Ben Allen explains the design concept and build process behind the project.
Tell us how the garden studio came about…
My brother Jonnie and my sister-in-law, nutritionist Dr Rachel Allen, wanted a studio in the garden of their home in south London. It’s primarily for Rachel, who is a nutritionist, as a base for her work. But Jonnie, who is a partner at a global engineering firm, was also using it during lockdown. My team’s interest lies in making spaces that are suitable for multiple uses. So, the office can also serve as a spare room, a play area for their two children and as a quiet retreat.
How did you find having family members as clients?
Jonnie and Rachel know my work quite well and they were generous enough to allow me a lot of creative freedom. Any project, no matter what size, can be stressful for the client. Guiding them through the process in a way that minimises their worries as much as possible is important to maintain a good relationship. Being realistic but respectful of budgets and quick to resolve issues that arise really helps too.