Maarten and Lori Lens-FitzGerald wanted to expand their living space without sacrificing their yard, so they tasked CC-Studio to come up with a plan. Replacing existing garden sheds in the back corners of the yard, CC-Studio’s solution was rather unique. The new garden studio sits along the back boundary and provides space for a new sunny deck, an office that doubles as an extra room, and storage space. Sedum covers the roof and one side of the angular volume, while mirrors are used on the other facades.
The living roof and walls expand the garden by using space otherwise occupied by materials. Skylights on the roof pull natural light into the studio and the storage area. Meanwhile the mirrors serve to reflect the garden, making it seem larger than it really is. The mirrors also help to bounce light around the yard and direct it into the home and into otherwise shady spaces. CC-Studio optimized the design by altering the angles of the mirrored facades to get the best results. They were aided by their colleagues at B29 Studios and eb Ontwerp, and the project was completed in March 2012.
Images ©John Lewis Marshall and Lori Lens-FitzGerald
This is a great looking design, but every time I've seen an inexperienced architect put a mirror outdoors, it takes about 3 months or so of dead bodies for them to realize that birds don't have the same aesthetic. True story: I was standing in the back garden of California Governor Jerry Brown's Presidio Heights firehouse one afternoon about 20 years ago and he picked a dead finch up off the ground in front of his large free-standing garden mirror. His question,"Where are all these dead birds coming from?", was strangely humorous, but he did have a lot of heavier subjects to ponder.