Confession of an architect.

My name is James, I am an architect and I didn’t design my garden studio……..


Confession complete.


I would dearly have loved to have designed and built my own new architectural studio in my garden but I simply didn’t have enough time to do so. Therefore, I opted for a studio that would be delivered and installed as a complete solution in a short time frame, providing me with a contemporary space tailored to my needs and designed to comply with all planning regulations.

A Bank Holiday Trip to Buy a Studio.

Therefore, on a rainy bank holiday Monday I dragged the family along to The Garden Studio showroom in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. They were sold with the free coffee and cakes upon arrival. I, however, took a bit more convincing but the showroom was very impressive with a range of studio buildings and options on display and knowledgeable staff helping you through every step of the process. The deposit was paid before departure.

With a relatively small garden the studio had to be located as tight to the property line as possible. To avoid having to obtain a planning permission I opted for a 3x5m studio with a maximum external height of 2.5m which meant the studio could then be constructed within 400mm of the boundary.

The New Workplace Arrives Home.

Within 10 weeks from order the site survey had been carried out, the mini pile foundations installed and the garden studio completed. It was now time to relieve the dining room and sheds of its office furniture, IT equipment, printers, books, drawings and folders etc.

Following the completion of the studio I dug a 500mm trench and laid two ducts for the electric and Cat6 internet cable. I installed a double Cat6 wall plate on the house broadband supply and hardwired the Cat6 cable from this point to the new studio. With a little help from YouTube I then configured a spare BT router to provide the studio with the strongest Wi-Fi signal as possible, much to the joy of all of my visiting children.

The transition from working in an architectural office to a sole practitioner working from a garden studio was about to commence.

Jack of all Trades, Master of None.

One of the first things you learn as a sole practitioner is that you need to be a jack-of-all-trades when setting up your architectural practice and also in the general day to day running of it. In most cases if you don’t do it then it won’t get done, from making the coffee to keeping on top of your accounts, from cleaning the studio to chasing invoices………and then earning your crust of course!


All Architecture Great and Small  |  The Soleful Practitioner