Dark Matter garden studio by Hyperspace features pivoting door

Dark Matter garden studio by Hyperspace features pivoting door

London architecture studio Hyperspace have created a garden studio in Hertfordshire, England, with a revolving door and charred wooden facade that doubles as an insect hotel.

Hyperspace converted a suburban garage to create the work-from-home studio called Dark Matter.

The building’s name refers to its facade, which consists of 850 charred pieces of wood. The process, known as Shou Sugi Ban, extends the life of the wood by making it more resistant to moisture.

The garden studio was created by converting a former garage

Gaps have been left between these wooden shingles to provide insects with a natural habitat, with the aim of encouraging biodiversity in the garden.

According to Hyperspace founder Olli Andrew, they act “like a giant insect hotel in which insects can overwinter”.

Andrew designed the studio to provide the client, design consultant Wayne Euston-Moore, with a spacious and quiet workspace.

Entrance to Hyper's Dark Matter garden studio
The entrance is formed by an extra wide swinging door

The goal from the start was to go beyond the simple glass fronted box that makes up most garden studios.

The swing door follows this approach. Located on a square cutout at the corner of the building, this double-width element creates a sense of drama from the moment of arrival.

swing door
Two perforated “light chimneys” enliven the interior

The building also features two “light chimneys” dotted with perforations.

They extend downward from skylights in the roof, creating dynamic light reflections intended to mimic dappled sunlight through a treetop.

“Outdoor garden studios don’t have to be generic boxes,” says Andrew.

“The beauty of this project is in the craftsmanship, the space and the light. And with its connection to nature, it is an inspiring place to work.”

Bright fireplace and desk in the Dark Matter garden studio by Hyper
Plywood panels line the interior walls

The design uses almost all of the materials from the original garage structure, including the wooden beams from the dismantled hipped roof. Anything left over was diverted to another Hyperspace project to keep waste to a minimum.

A corrugated iron roof was supported on white-oiled timber rafters, while the interior walls are now clad in poplar plywood panels.

Charred wooden shingles
Charred wooden clapboards line the exterior walls

To improve the building’s energy efficiency, Andrew opted for triple-glazed windows and skylights, while adding insulation made of wood fiber, wool and recyclable foil-based blankets.

“To reduce embodied carbon, most of the materials were sourced within a 10-mile radius,” Andrew said.

“The use of steel and concrete has been kept to a minimum, with just one steel plate and less than a square meter of concrete.”

Dark Matt Garden Studio by Hyper
Windows have deep sills, so they can serve as informal seats

The studio is minimally furnished, which helps improve the sense of space. A simple table in the corner offers a view through windows that face both north and east.

These windows both feature deep sills and minimally overhanging canopies, providing studio occupants with an alternative place to sit and work.

Night view of Hyper's Dark Matter garden studio
The facade provides a nesting place for insects

“It offers amazing headspace that’s inspirational yet calm,” said Euston-Moore. “It feels like you’re in a perfectly isolated space, yet connected to the outside world with lots of natural light.”

Other recent garden studio designs include Michael Dillon’s low-cost architecture studio in Kent and a writing hut in Dublin designed by Clancy Moore Architects.

Photography and film are by Simon Kennedy.

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