2014 North Alabama Chapter, American Institute of Architects People’s Choice Award and 2014 North Alabama Chapter, American Institute of Architects Honorable Mention Award
Three years after the completion of their bluff house, former clients asked their architect to return to the site and design a small garden house. The garden house needed not only to be compatible with their contemporary residence, but also serve as a highly functional work space.
A flat area just downhill from the house, and with good access to the road was the chosen location. It was aligned with the leading edge of the house so it is visible when approaching the front door. The materials, roof pitches, and detailing of the house recall that of the residence. At the same time the volumes and composition of the forms differ enough to avoid the appearance of being a “doll house” version of the bluff house.
The garden house parti consists of two different sized squares shifted for partial alignment. The larger square contains the real work space, where planting and potting occurs. This necessitates generous counter space, a deep utility sink, cabinet storage, and floor space for soils. The smaller area houses yard tools, a yard wagon and wheelbarrow, and contains a coiling door large enough to receive the bed of the client’s pickup truck.
The square forms are extruded and capped with a simple roof planes - simple sheds joined on one end, sloping in opposite directions, and stretching to one side to provide cover for wood storage.
The end result of careful coordination with the client and thoughtful design decisions is garden house that is not just an outbuilding, but an integral component of the site.