Don’t be deceived by this studio’s small size—architect Ulrika Saar of Freshwater studio designed the “Granny Flat” to fit a lot function in just 312 square feet. Nestled in Saar’s backyard in Sydney, the flexible timber-clad studio houses a home office, kitchenette, living room, bathroom, workspace, laundry, and storage. The project was built in collaboration with Russ Davis from Avalon Constructions.
Durability and an emphasis on natural light and ventilation guided the design behind the Freshwater Granny Flat. The steel-framed breezy studio opens up to the outdoors with a retractable glass wall, multiple doorways, and wraparound clerestory glazing that can be opened to take advantage of cooling crosswinds. Semi-translucent polycarbonate roofing also brings in additional diffused light, while a deep roof overhang shields the interior from the intense summer sun.
Blackbutt hardwood timber and zincalume clad the exterior for durable and beautiful finish that complements the outdoors. The interior is a mix of timber, polished concrete floors, and white walls with minimal decorations to keep the small space from feeling cluttered. Divided into three rooms, the multifunctional studio’s largest space is the bedroom/living room/workspace outfitted with a wall bed and a small kitchenette. A 4,000-liter rainwater tank collects water for the toilet, washing machine, and yard irrigation.
Photos by Michael Nicholson