Tower House Garden Room
Bespoke Garden Room
The Tower House Garden Room was designed to sit in the grounds of a Grade A listed, early 16th Century, Scottish tower house. The brief for the Garden Room was to provide a sunlit space to compliment the the tower's interior which, with its traditional small, deep windows, receives little daylight.
The site of an existing wooden shed was chosen in the corner of a sheltered garden surrounded by a tall, beech hedge; the clients wanted their Garden Room to have plenty of light, and have access to the roof where they could enjoy the beautiful elevated views up and down the valley. The room has created four viewpoints, south and east facing windows into the garden and across the valley, a full width skylight for star gazing, and the rooftop views from the turf roof.
The restrictions of the site meant the building was prefabricated in the workshop but designed to be dismantled and erected in sections. These had to be capable of being lifted manually onto the garden site, with no need for mechanical lifting equipment to avoid damaging the garden and its surrounding hedge.
Whilst the building was designed to meet the crieteria of a permitted development, planning permission was required as the Garden Room sits in the grounds of a Grade A listed building.
In addition to the rooftop and garden views, the building was designed to create a new view, out over the farmland and hills to the east, by projecting the floor plan through the surrounding hedge out into their neighbouring field and inserting a floor to ceiling window. This interior feature references the deep window recesses of the tower, and the full height window has the effect of extending the interior space into the fields and hills beyond. A small wood burning stove sits in front of the adjacent wall, set on a slate hearth cut to follow the geometry of the building. At the opposite end of the room, a ceiling recess houses a narrow, full width rooflight, which illuminates the room by day and offers the opportuntiy for stargazing by night; a narrow ladder of shelves disappears up into the space. The interior walls and ceiling are lined in spruce ply with painted panels, and the room is floored in engineered oak boards with an oiled finish.
Looking down from the tower house windows, the Garden Room's wild flower, turf roof will create another garden feature when established. Offering an elevated view point over the valley, the tiny roof garden is accessible by a concealed, alternate tread, timber and galvanised steel stair, which echoes the hidden stone stair in the tower house.
Although the footprint of the buidling is positioned squarely within the south-east facing garden, the front elevation is gently tilted to face south and catch the sun; this also creates a small angled front porch with an area of timber decking. The Double glazed, sliding doors open the space up for indoor-outdoor living, and an adjacent, solid timber entrance door completes the elevation; when open, the door locks in place against the brise soleil's supporting timber post and provides shelter. The exterior is clad in untreated Scottish larch boards, which will silver down with age.