News Home & Design Emerald Geometric Flat Pack Structure Acts As Home Office and More It's a garden gem for work, play, and hosting guests. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Published March 28, 2022 03:00PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Ben Tynegate News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive There's no doubt that the pandemic has changed so many of our daily habits, especially the way many of us work. Many were able to forego their grinding commutes, transitioning to remotely working at home instead. But that shift has brought on its own set of challenges, especially for families with children who were also moving over to online learning at the same time. Many parents found themselves in need of quiet spaces that could be dedicated for work, resulting in renewed interest in home offices that could either be set up somewhere inside the home—or even better, somewhere in the backyard. For one family living in southwest London, England, that extra bit of space for work (and leisure) comes in the form of this intriguing geometric structure, painted in calming tones of emerald green. Ben Tynegate Designed by Studio Ben Allen, The Room In The Garden is a flat pack wonder that combines creative whimsy with the latest building technologies. It has apparently been inspired by an 18th-century folly in Scotland known as the Dunmore Pineapple. Unlike its pineapple-topped cousin though, The Room In The Garden is much more intimate in scale, all intended to be used as a cozy home office, as well as a playroom and extra space for overnight guests. Ben Tynegate As the architects explain, the digitally fabricated structure was designed both as "product and building." "The geometry of the architecture is an interplay of changing geometric forms. The octagonal wall structure rises to form a hexagonal roof which then frames a square skylight. The main timber columns that support the walls converge to form a truss-like structure that supports the roof. In so doing they give a heightened sense of verticality and therefore both a greater sense of space and an aesthetic reinforcement of the underlying geometry of the structure." Ben Tynegate The exterior is clad with green-colored tiles that provide a kind of "surreal camouflage" that blends in with the garden greenery that surrounds it, as studio founder Ben Allen tells Dezeen: "We were interested in trying to dematerialize the internal octagonal geometry on the outside with something more organic and visually complex, with the intent that at some point the surrounding planting would develop." The interior is designed to adapt with the seasons, with the double doors leading into the structure fully opening during the summer months, so that the garden becomes an extension of the interior itself. Ben Tynegate Inside, the layout includes a desk facing a window on one side, and a bench on the other, as well as some integrated shelving for storing items. The geometric theme is carried through with the patterning on the floor and desk. Ben Tynegate The bench features a clever design approach. Rather than having it as a static element, it can transform into a number of things. Here the bench functions as a spot to lounge around with a book. Ben Tynegate The bench is also a place for the children to play. Ben Tynegate But the bench also conceals another possibility: its center can be unfolded ... Ben Tynegate ... and with the addition of some bedding, it can be transformed into a lovely place for guests to enjoy a quiet night. Ben Tynegate The skylight above, framed by a lattice of wooden beams, provides extra natural daylighting, says the studio: "The exposed timber structure which rises to the ceiling converging and framing the skylight gives a central focal point and top-light, ideal when seeking a place to read or for quiet contemplation." Ben Tynegate Besides its unique form, the Room In The Garden also incorporates some clever innovations. Much of it was prefabricated off-site using flatbed CNC machines, with components pre-cut and pre-notched, prior to them being transported and assembled on-site. Ben Tynegate The structure was also designed to be low-VOC, energy efficient, and easy to assemble and take apart, in case the family ever decides to relocate. In total, the structural framework and cladding took two people about four days to erect, with an additional two weeks for installing things like electricity, insulation, furniture, and other interior finishes. It's also a smart structure too, says the studio: "The underfloor heating, lighting, rooflight, and extract fan with a humidistat can all be controlled remotely from a smartphone. This means that even during prolonged periods when not in use the temperature can be controlled and space can be naturally or mechanically ventilated to ensure that remains dry, well ventilated, and warm when needed." Ben Tynegate The studio hints that this structure, which was built on a "modest budget," could be a prototype for an affordable, modular design that could either be sold as-is or further reconfigured into different variations. It's a lovely project that suggests that working from home doesn't have to be a drab, boring affair—it can be comfortable and well-designed too. To see more, visit Studio Ben Allen.