The Brooklyn Garden Studio is a self-built retreat located in the garden of a Boerum Hill Townhouse in Brooklyn, New York. The project is a tinkering architect’s escape from the city, both the act of building and the time spent inhabiting. The garden studio provides a seemingly detached space of solitude within the immense landscape of New York City. It is a perfect spot for enjoying a book or an afternoon nap.
The studio is a modest space of experimentation. The interior dimensions measure five feet wide by eleven feet deep. It is constructed of humble materials: standard wood framing and sheathing, plexi-glass windows and skylight, salvaged cedar siding and salvaged fence pickets trimmed to clad the interior. The form is simple and clean, shaped to shed water and keep the overall height low while maintaining headroom at the entry. Openings are strategically located to reveal only views to the ground and garden, sky and trees. All references to the urban surroundings are removed. A double layer of horizontal slats allow low views out from a seated position, yet restrict the prying eyes of neighbors from floors above. In the evening, the studio glows from the skylight and slatted wall, illuminating the back yard and surrounding trees.
The project was constructed during the spare hours of nights and weekends over a three month period. It was built with the intention to test details and explore the limits of a confined space, but also for the therapeutic process of constructing one’s own design. The most popular question among friends since the project’s completion has been "what are you going to do out there?!" In the end, it is less about what you do out there and more about what it does to you. There is something special about inhabiting a space within the craziness of New York City that makes you feel elsewhere.