This lovely little garden hut serves as a shared workspace for a musician and seamstress couple in north London. Cork Study—named after its sustainable cork cladding—is the work of design studio Surman Weston, also known for another charming backyard studio they built in 2014. Large glass panes and a minimalist approach make the workspace feel surprisingly spacious despite its small 13-square-meter footprint.
Surrounded by brick walls and greenery, Cork Study is slotted into a narrow garden with a small amount of clearance on either side. The architects wrapped the boxy volume in beautiful pale cork cladding that provides weatherproofing as well as thermal and acoustic insulation. The thick cork and the wildflower sedum roof help blend the building into the landscape.
A large skylight and glazed oak-framed sliding pocket door bathe the interior in natural light. Birch plywood lines the interior and is also used for the custom furnishing that’s cantilevered off the walls. A central vertically oriented window divides the shared desk unit into two.
“As a whole, the scheme is a very sustainable project. Timber internal linings, an all timber structural frame and the wild-flower sedum roof are used in conjunction with the fantastically sustainable cork cladding. Formed from the re-harvestable bark of cork-oak trees, the innovative expanded cork blocks are completely additive free and significantly carbon negative.” The Cork Study was shortlisted for a RIBA London Award 2017.
Photography: Wai Ming Ng