‘Shoffice’ Adds Modern Twist To London Garden Shed

For those dreaming of shortening their daily commutes to a few footsteps but don’t want to work in the same space in which they live, London design firm Platform 5 Architects, may have the ultimate green compromise.

The “Shoffice” cleverly combines the convenience of a garden shed with the sleek, professional look of a modern office. Located in the backyard garden of a 1950s-era terraced house in London’s St. John’s Wood neighborhood, the swirling design was inspired by the curlicue shape of a wood shaving.

Image by Alan Williams via Platform 5 Architects

Image by Alan Williams via Platform 5 Architects

The tiny Shoffice structure includes two skylights—one with glazing, the other open-air—that draw in all the natural light needed during each work day, even during England’s infamously cloudy weather. There are, however, electric lights installed for any necessary nighttime work.

A view of the "daily commute" from the home to office. Image by Alan Williams via Platform 5 Architects.

A view of the “daily commute” from the home to office. Image by Alan Williams via Platform 5 Architects.

The sculptural wave-like design is made possible by a steel frame arcing from one side of the garden to the other, then curling under to form the floor and curved deck in one graceful motion. The frame is clad in several thick layers of timber and stressed plywood to ward off the chill. The minimalist interior, oak-lined and glassed-in, includes a small storage space and a built-in cantilevered desk.

Schematic showing the basic structural elements of the Shoffice. Image by Alan Williams via Platform 5 Architects.

Schematic showing the basic structural elements of the Shoffice. Image via Platform 5 Architects.

Tucked neatly into the existing walls of the garden, the project was mostly prefabricated to reduce the amount of building materials that had to be brought in through the house during construction, according to Platform 5.

A view of how the structure fits snugly in the backyard. Image by Alan Williams via Platform 5 Architects.

A view of how the structure fits snugly in the backyard. Image by Alan Williams via Platform 5 Architects.

Shoffice is a great way to eliminate the reliance on pollution-spewing vehicles for the daily commute. The design also allows the tenant to experience nature while providing a dedicated, isolated space to get work done. Plus, there’s the added perk of being able to access your own kitchen and bathroom just a few steps away.

Randy Woods is a Seattle-based writer and editor with 20+ years of experience in the business publishing world. A former managing editor of Seattle Business, iSixSigma, Claims and Waste Age magazines, he has covered topics that include newspaper publishing, entrepreneurism, green businesses, insurance, environmental protection and garbage hauling (yes, really). He also contributes to the Career Center Blog for The Seattle Times and edits a photography magazine called PhotoMedia. When not working, he likes to hide out in Seattle movie theaters and attend film festivals—even on sunny days.