This project is a renovation of a garden shed. Such backyard sheds are quite common in certain San Francisco neighborhoods. Many were built to serve as temporary shelter following the 1906 earthquake while residents were rebuilding their homes. These structures interlace with adjacent gardens and fences, and provide both privacy and unobtrusive density between neighbors.

In this particular design, we transformed the existing shed into a flexible garden room. This single room can be used for an array of functions, such as a study/office or as an alternate living space away from the main house.

We used part of the original structure — the perimeter walls and the foundation footprint — and inserted a new mat slab and roof structure. The new roof anchors to the existing perimeter walls and floats above two new steel columns that we inserted at the end of the existing wood walls to allow a clear opening facing the garden. Transparent and translucent movable walls provide a strong connection between the inside space and the outside garden.