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.

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

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.

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