Whether it’s being used for working by day, or film-screenings and entertaining by night, TR Studio’s multipurpose Cotswolds lodge is at one with the landscape
Run out of space at home? While the obvious answer might be to extend, another solution is to build some entirely new living quarters at a discreet distance, as one family did in the garden of their Cotswolds home. Architect TR Studio has designed what the practice calls a ‘lodge’ in the garden – a space that can be used as a workplace by day but that is emphatically about relaxation and fun at other times.
“A multi-purpose, flexible space was a large part of the brief,” says practice director Tom Rutt. The idea was to create a place where the whole family could hang out and reconnect – the couple have two university-age sons who regularly come back to visit – that could also be used for entertaining at other times. The building is roughly L-shaped in its footprint, with a large open-plan family room along one side, while the other side, which is a tapering wedge-shape rather than rectangular, is taken up by a study and entrance area. The lodge doesn’t contain dedicated bedrooms, but the family room can convert into a bedroom for teenage sleepovers, while a kitchen and shower room, in the crook of the L-shape, make it fully functional for entertaining and staying over.
TR Studio was inspired by local agricultural buildings, with their simple forms, timber walls and metal roofs: here, that style has been filtered through a contemporary lens, with Siberian larch cladding and galvanised steel used for the pitched roof, plus plenty of slender-framed glazing to take in the rural views. “The glazing takes advantage of the sun’s path as well as the views across the countryside,” says Rutt. “We added in strategically placed skylights to maximise the daylight that would penetrate throughout the day, dappled through the overhead tree canopy.”
The lodge is primarily made from timber with some additional steel, with the walls made thicker to hide sliding doors and shutters when they are open. Careful detailing has made the roof appear thin and lightweight, “‘sitting’ very delicately and calmly on the walls,” says Rutt. One of the homeowners is a landscape designer, and the building’s sensitive relationship with its surroundings is particularly pleasing. “They worked on the design once we’d established the footprint of the building, optimising the layout, views and the sun’s path; once all things were considered they created pathways and seating areas to optimise the layout,” says Rutt. The two sides of the building’s L-shape hug an outdoor seating area, enclosed by planted beds before an uninterrupted view stretches out over fields.
The plan for the interiors was to create “a calm, spacious environment with texture and simplicity at its core,” says Rutt, who collaborated with interior design studio Riley Brooks. The walls are enveloped in Clayworks’ matt clay plaster in a warm off-white, and this finish, plus the oak flooring, helps sound a note of serenity throughout. The main family space features a large Extrasoft sofa by Living Divani, perfect for watching a movie – “the clients are very into their films and we organised the main room around this unapologetically,” says Rutt – plus a black-baize pool table.
TR Studio has also designed bespoke furniture, including built-in storage and a timber display ledge that runs behind the table in the study, which tapers gently off as it meets the obtusely angled corner of the room, while Kreon’s Esprit lighting treads a line between architectural simplicity and sculptural decoration. Rose Uniacke’s Drapers Table acts as the desk in the study area, but it doubles up as somewhere to put out the food when the family are entertaining – and who wouldn’t want to spend time in this place when the party is in full swing?