The New Summerhouse

Small ProjectJudges Special Award

The New Summerhouse

Project Info

At the foot of a long thin rear garden in a Victorian terrace in Hackney floats a lightweight timber pavilion containing a playroom, studio and guest room.

The ‘new summerhouse’ is an elegant and simple solution to the common inner-city problem of a young family needing more space, but not willing or able to relocate.

The owners, David and Sybill Caines, were inspired by the simplicity of the Charles and Ray Eames house in California. The 8m polished steel wall on the northern side, which reflects the garden and screens the building from its urban surroundings, evokes both modernist simplicity and a more playful illustration spirit which is evident in the deceptively angled glazed facade and cantilevered roof.

The £35,000 steel frame structure is supported on concrete pads. Beautifully crafted traditional timber frame detailing was planed down and exposed throughout the interior.


ArchitectUllmayer & Sylvester Architects

Structural EngineerBTA Structural Design


SpeciesPlaned Softwood, WBP Birch Ply and Marine Grade Ply

ClientSybill and David Caines


Summer house