Monday, 19 September 2016

What's at the Bottom of the Garden?

If you are lucky enough to have a garden in London, one recurring question seems to be what can we create at the end?  Its often the place where little grows and is seldom used as a result.  DesignBox has recently completed a garden refurbishment for a family in South London to meet this challenge.  

A collection of distinct spaces was requested for the family to enjoy, including an artist's studio, a shaded seating area and a putting green.  The studio and a timber pergola identify the key areas and open the invitation to visit the end of the garden.  New lines of planting with lighting, including lolly-pop trees flank the garden and animate the route to the end.

The linear arrangements between the spaces allow each to relate to the next and create a connection.  The artist's studio also offers some separation so it can become a retreat from the outside world and a place for concentrated study.  Privacy from surrounding gardens is provided with hardwood trellis to the perimeter garden wall and the shady canopy of the existing mature trees.  Storage units enable the garden to remain tidy and un-cluttered.

The studio and pergola provide a connection between study and relaxation, between indoor space and the external garden.  By contrast to the dark shingles of the studio's exterior, the inside has been made as light as possible.  A window seat and desk are placed either side of the space.  Translucent roof panels diffuse the natural light entering the studio, to help create the artistic environment.  As a result, the interior appears brighter than the outside.

The light makes the space inside feel more like Southern Europe than South London.  The desk offers a place to study without distraction while the window seat gives a picture frame view on to the garden.

Looking in to the garden from the house should now present a tantalising invitation to encourage the family to go out, experience with the garden and enjoy the fun spaces  located at the end. 

Garden installation by the Garden Builders
Photographs by Corin Ashleigh Brown

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Primary school builds two life-sized Pavilions

Exciting news!  The Serpentine Galleries have published a review of 'the brilliant' Furzedown Primary School's Architectural workshops on their Build Your Own Pavilion website.

The Build Your Own Pavilion Challenge  is a fab competition to engage kids with their ideas in spacial design.  Workshops are organised around the country and the competition is open to everyone between the ages of 8 and 14.  There are some neat prizes to be won so grab a handful of materials and see where the making adventure takes you.  Be bold, the results could be as striking as the annual Serpentine Pavilion!

More on the work carried out at the ArtBox by the Furzedown kids can be found here on our blog, along with a brief on the Architecture for Kids workshops.

A huge thank you again to the Serpentine Galleries for their article and to Art Teacher Michaela Truscott and Furzedown Primary School for running the workshops.  There's no such thing as an uncreative kid!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Green Keeping

DesignBox has been busy as Project Manager for the building and service infrastructure works at the Machrie Golf Links and Hotel on the Isle of Islay.  The vision for the Machrie is to create a World-Class, Championship Links Course connected to a newly re-developed four-star Hotel, for the enjoyment of local and international visitors.

To support this, one of DesignBox's initial work has focused on the Green Keeping Facility which has recently completed.  This is a simple and economical steel portal shed on a concrete slab.  It is designed to give as much light, access and flexibility as possible to the many tasks the Green Keeping team will need to do both inside and outside the building, as well as on the course.

Islay is a relatively remote location so anything required off the island can take a little time.  The Machrie has looked to overcome this by equipping the facility with all the key machinery, plant and skilled personnel required to make it self sufficient.

Large roller shutter doors allow for tractors, trailers and the storage of bulk materials.  They also allow the building to open and connect to the forecourt where the team can work outside.

Islay is a very special island and a beautiful place.  The Machrie Golf Links are are absolutely stunning!  When work is complete they will no doubt raise the profile of Islay and set the Machrie as a key destination for island Links Golf.

The Golf Links are due to be ready in time for the 2017 Golf season.  The Hotel is scheduled to open in the following year.  In its regeneration, the Machrie is becoming a very exciting place.