Backyard Art Retreat

The brief was for a minimalist painting studio set beneath the camphor laurel canopy of a suburban garden in Sydney's inner west. The concept was for a jewellery box of a building with impeccable detail. Charred hardwood cladding was used to help the building age gracefully in place, the dark tones and scaly texture helping it to gently merge with its tranquil natural setting. Hardwood tongue and groove floorboards bounded by large glass sliding doors complete the effect of bringing the garden into the space and inspiring the artworks that will occur within. Engineered timbers are used for their superior trueness and spanning capacity in the timber framed floor and roof structures. Finally, a recycled iron bark feature column grounds the building by tying in with timber tones in the floor and external sleeper ground treatment, as well as physically bracing the building and being cost efficient.

Likewise, timber stud framing with plywood bracking panels were used to avoid high costs of steel supply, fabrication and installation onsite. Timber provided a readily maliable and ridgid building material that could be adapted easily to site conditions as they arose. For the feature post, reclaimed timber was used to perform structural work as well as for its aethetic and warming texture. The use of reclaimed timbers in the cladding and feature post also helped keep costs down as well as bedding the studio quietly into its natural setting.


This structure is classified as an Exempt Development under the Exempt and Complying SEPP as it is under three metres and twenty square metres in floor area. A comparable structure under this code is Outbuilding or Cabana. 

Products used: Solid Timber, 100% Mixed hardwoods for T&G flooring, H3 treated floor beams and joists, structural pine plywood working platform

Vertical Supports or Wall System: Timber Framed, 100% LVL beams and rafters

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