A garden studio that slots together

Architect Ben Allen's distinctive design was devised with precision for ease of assembly

By Becca Green | 4 December 2020

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.

An exterior view of the garden studio with window onto the interior

The angled shape of the garden studio helps it fit snugly in place. Image: Ben Tynegate

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.