As part of the initial designs for Adelaide, we had proposed a new building in the garden, separate from the house that would provide ancillary accommodation. The garden room was to have multiple uses; providing guest accommodation, additional living space and a summer house. It was also intended as a folly or eye-catcher as part of the garden design.
The concept for the design was of a traditional orange house – a building type that was designed to house delicate tropical plants over the winter. An orangery has masonry walls and a solid roof with large areas of south-facing glass. We took inspiration from the design by Sir John Soane of the stables in the Chelsea Hospital with large brick arches which step in to accommodate openings of different sizes. The brick was chosen to match the brickwork of the original house.
The building is located on the north side of the rear garden facing south over the lawn. Combined with the new kitchen extension and terrace on the east side of the main house, they define the rear garden.
The interior has a modest bedroom and bathroom to the east-side; facing the morning sun and a large living space facing south and west to capture the afternoon and evening sunlight. This space has a 4-metre high ceiling and a single piece of joinery on the north wall contains a small kitchen, TV, library, storage and services.
The interior decoration was inspired by an Arts and Crafts rug designed by the architect CFA Voysey that we found at an auction. Hanging on the walls is a set of specially commissioned botanical drawings by artist Susan Sex.