Garden Sheds Are an Explosion of Architectural Experimentation

by , 11/04/09

sustainable design, green design, architecture, building, prefab architecture, garden sheds

Mark Twain had a garden shed; he called it “the loveliest study you ever saw…octagonal with a peaked roof, each face filled with a spacious window…perched in complete isolation on the top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills. It is a cozy nest and just room in it for a sofa, table, and three or four chairs, and when the storms sweep down the remote valley and the lighting flashes behind the hills beyond and the rain beats upon the roof over my head—imagine the luxury of it.”

But in recent times, the humble garden shed has become an outlet for designers to experiment in small spaces that often slide under the radar of zoning bylaws, providing extra room for study, relaxation or just getting away from everyone else.

sustainable design, green design, architecture, building, prefab architecture, garden sheds, barcelona pavilion, stiff and trevillion

Some are elegant, such as as this homage to Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion by Stiff and Trevillion Architects, seen in our post Garden Sheds Become an Explosion of Architectural Experimentation.

sustainable design, green design, architecture, building, prefab architecture, garden sheds, dansmonarbre

Some are simple and are barely enclosures at all, like this getaway in France by Gilles and dansmonarbre, in Hermitage Hut By Dans Mon Arbre Adjusts to Climate. From the architects:

The experience can be spiritual contemplation and prayer.
The experience can be therapeutic for couples in search of communication.
The experience can be hard work for students who need concentration.

sustainable design, green design, architecture, building, prefab architecture, garden sheds, moonroomPhoto credit: Alex Johnson at Shedworking

Some, like the Moonroom, are built of sustainable materials and support green roofs. Part of Super Sheds: Coming to Your Backyard Soon. See more in our roundup and our recent visit to a shed with green roof under construction.

+ 15 Modern Sheds For the Move Home to Mom

+ Triple Treat: Prefab Garden Shed With a Green Roof

Lead photo credit: Mark Twain

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  1. gardenoffices May 29, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Thanks for a great post, some very nice structures here. Garden structures are great for a number of reasons including no additional mortgage while offering more space. If you work from home you can also setup your own garden workspace! We specialise in garden offices, check out our range here:

  2. Sheds March 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

    After a day long working what we need the most is comfortable and peaceful sleep to refresh and re-energize ourselves. The bedding plays an important role in providing the relaxing moments.

  3. Build A Shed November 16, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Some really good structures here, though I wouldn’t call them ‘sheds’! Wouldn’t mind them being my house! Might have to reassess the sorts of sheds I look at on my blog now!


  4. Jenny Peterson November 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    The shed with the green roof is beyond awesome! I’ve long been interested in green roofs–I live in Austin, TX where I believe we have the nation’s only Starbucks with a green roof, and our largest nursery in town (The Great Outdoors) also created a green roof last year. It made it through our worst drought ever this past summer! As a landscape designer, I will definitely find a place for this shed. Thank you, thank you!

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