Highly Commended

Dark Matter

Small Project

Dark Matter

Project Info

With a minimal but textured plywood interior and a unique charred timber façade, a former garage has been converted into a tranquil garden studio designed to foster garden biodiversity.

Built from 850 scales of charred timber, the studio’s façade takes on a tapestry-like quality, with subtle variations in charring pattern evident on each piece, differing depending on the intensity of the heat used to treat the wood. Gaps between the chamfered scales were
created to provide natural habitats for insects to hibernate within.

An extra wide pivoting door creates a dramatic entrance to the studio’s simple rectangular plan. Hooded window stoops provide a variety
of places to work from, or contemplate in, rain or shine.

The self-supporting roof forms a structural diaphragm, with exposed timber rafters creating a clean aesthetic. The muted interior palette of poplar plywood is interrupted by two CNC-cut ‘light chimneys’ casting dappled light into the room.

Seeking to reuse as much of the fabric of the existing structure as possible, Dark Matter incorporates the walls, floor and roof timbers
of the original garage, minimising wastage.



Structural EngineerConstant Structural Design

Wood SupplierExterior Solutions

ContractorRichard Routley

SpeciesEuropean Larch (Scandinavia); Red Spruce (Scandinavia); Poplar Plywood (France) – PEFC and FSC certified

JoineryPaul Crudge Furniture Design

PhotographerSimon Kennedy