It is fashionable to have one garden room building that serves more than one use. For instance, we often feature garden rooms that have a secret storage room, or a home office that doubles up as a guest bedroom. Swift Garden Rooms are experienced in creating multifunctional garden room buildings. Over the years, we've featured quite a few of them, such as:
- A sewing room that started out as accommodation while the main house was renovated
- Or this meeting room that is also designed to be a yoga space and teenagers den
- While this building is a family sitting room that doubles up as a home gym
Home office and gym in one
This recent project by the Swift Garden Rooms team has been designed to be a home office with room for exercising. Rather than divide the 5m x 3m space into two rooms, furniture has been used to define the two areas, while still working as one cohesive space.
A clear vision for the building
Paul, Swift Garden Rooms client, had a clear vision for the new room. It needed to serve two distinct uses. The space will be used all year round, so it needed to be well insulated as well as being naturally light and fully accessible. It also needed to come in on a tight budget and fit in with broader works taking place in the house and garden.
Replacing a log cabin summerhouse
The new building replaces an old log cabin style summerhouse. Having not been able to use this building in the winter comfortably, Paul was keen to replace it with a highly insulated structure that could be reliably used all year round.
One of the reasons for choosing the Swift team to create the new building was that they use SIP's to form the core structure of their rooms. These structurally insulated panels are the same as those used in modern house building. They create an envelope of insulation around the building. Coupled with double glazed doors and windows, a Swift Garden Room can be comfortably used every day of the year.
Reinforced walls for gym equipment
Some of the exercise equipment that Paul wanted to use in the gym area of the room needed to be attached to the wall. Martin Lawson, head of design at Swift Garden Rooms designed the wall structure with these fixings in mind and worked out the forces they would put on the wall structure.
It is elements like this that prove the worth of the client and designer collaboration process. If the client has a clear plan for the room, the designer can easily incorporate features to ensure the room is fit for purpose.
Naturally light room
As we can see from the photos, the naturally light room that Paul desired has been achieved. The plastered and decorated walls and ceiling bounce the light from the doors and windows around the room.
A 3-leaf set of bi-fold doors has been combined with a full height fixed window to create a corner of glazing. We love how a wide rectangular window has been fitted in the office area. This is at the perfect height to frame a view of the garden while sitting at the desk.
Low thresholds for easy access
An important element of the design brief was that the room be fully accessible. This meant no step over the door frame into the room. To achieve this, the Swift team have used a bi-fold door system that has a low threshold. The result is that the internal floor finish, the door frame and exterior deck are all the same height. Providing an uninterrupted journey from outside into the room.
Black Thermowood cladding
Paul wanted to create an all black finish for the garden room. Conscious of the tight budget, it was decided to stain Thermowood black. Thermowood is one of the more cost-effective cladding options; it is, however, no less durable. Treated at high temperatures it has an extended maintenance-free lifespan. Left unstained it has a honey colour with clear not and grain detail. Applying the stain, the Swift team have matched the cladding in with the black frames of the doors and windows. Using one colour like this is striking.
There are other ways to achieve this look. For instance, Swift Garden Rooms created a similar building using composite wood cladding. Composite wood cladding is more expensive than stained Thermowood, so it is great to see a cheaper option looking so good!
Project managed build
The garden office and gym building was part of a larger house and garden renovation project. The work needed to dovetail in with other elements of the project. Swift Garden Rooms offer a project managed service from foundations to final connections, so they were able to handle the schedule to fit in with other trades.
The project took ten days to complete on-site and cost £27,610, including VAT.