Emerging Architecture Awards

Commended December 2004


Garden hut

Sant Miquel de Cruilles, Spain
The garden hut by Eightyseven at Sant Miquel de Cruilles near the Franco-Spanish border in eastern Catalonia is the smallest building to be commemorated by the jury this year. The client considers his garden as an open-air room of the house, so, from the first, the little place was thought of as a large piece of furniture, and created with much attention to detail. In winter, it acts as a compact storage shed, in summer it folds open to become a gazebo.
It is set prominently on a tree studded lawn that slopes gently towards a wide valley and distant silhouettes of the mountains. In its winter form, it is a square box with a rather odd shaped top that has two large triangular skylights made of laminated glass. Walls are of rusted steel, partly chosen for its durability and similarity of colour to that of the roof tiles on surrounding vernacular buildings.
In summer, walls slide and fold back to reveal an interior with wall panels and floor deck of ipĂȘ, a Brazilian timber from renewable sources that is extremely resistant to water and insect attack. The quality of joinery in this very hard wood is exemplary. Layers of outdoor space are revealed, from the swimming pool surrounded by fruit trees in the immediate foreground, to the village, the valley and the backdrop of mountains. The schemes ingenuity, understanding of materials and economy (it cost Euros) were all noted by jury members.

Project team
Artur Carulla, Rita Lambert