Working in a dedicated home office out in the backyard has its advantages, such potentially increased productivity. But these spaces can also function as more contemplative spaces too, perhaps for yoga and meditation. This inscrutable structure in one backyard in Nottingham, UK acts both as a place to get work done, and doubles as a quiet place for deeper thoughts as well.
Built by 2hD Architecture Workshop as an extension of an existing, home-based architecture office on the ground floor of the main house, this "hairy" structure replaces an old glazed shed, and is clad with over 546 coconut-fibre broom brushes. As the architects explain, this experimental office shed, dubbed Mission Control, was necessary once children came into the picture, serving as an alternative quiet spot to really focus and get work done, away from the hubbub of the main house:
We built this custom-designed structure as the antithesis of a ‘contemplation space with landscape views and flowing inside-outside space’. In contrast, we needed an almost monastic cell, removed from physical context and worldly distraction, where we could retreat to immerse ourselves in brain work.
That monastic meme is even brought in by the daily walk over 13 feet to this hairy office. "Our intention was that the building should create three totally separate experiences: an enigmatic exterior, a serene interior and a ceremonial commute to work," say the architects.
That enigmatic exterior bristles with these broom brushes; at first glance, it almost seems like there's no way in.
To enter, there's a hidden sliding door that's activated with a "‘secret panel’ broom head." This "ritual of concentration" to find that secret entry "requires concentration and creates distance from whatever else is on your mind." As the door slides shut, "the box seals itself and the separation is complete. Let focus begin."
The structure is kept warm with the help of sheep wool insulation. The interior was conceived as a "calm isolation chamber for undisturbed concentration" -- only two desks occupy the small, plywood-clad, 75-square-foot space, under light pouring in from a single sloped skylight that can open up to let air in.
This inward-looking design is quite a different approach from most shed offices we've seen, but in this case it makes sense to block out all distractions in order to not lose mental momentum. From offering a outward-oriented space to work and play, and more inward-oriented interiors to promote contemplation, what can't the humble office shed do? To see more, visit 2hD Architecture Workshop.