A door painted bright blue welcomes you to the Garden Room previously known as a falling-apart-3-car-garage. Built in 1923, the old structure measuring 17 feet deep by 27 feet long by 10 feet tall used to have a leaking roof and was quite favored by rodents.
I gut it and divide anew. Now, 2/3 of the shed is a single volume housing the office/library/meditation room. The rest — what amounts to one parking stall — is taken up by the bathroom/sauna.
I reinforce and puncture the wall flanking what is now called the Secret Garden with an entry door and floor-to-ceiling openings. Two out of three retractable garage gates are taken out and replaced with clearstory windows; they maximize on the unremarkable view and aid with ventilation.
I plot and scheme to evoke surprise. Restraint is a secret weapon. It’s fun to be frugal — opulent visual unity can be created with texture and shadow, no matter how modest my material palette is. Nothing is arbitrary.
The unveiled space is supported with new exposed wood beams serving as “dividers” overhead and helping to organize the activity below. I plan all the furniture and fittings to function together. As in most of my projects, I strive to achieve more with less, to find a fit between architecture, art, and product design.