Garden Pavilion: the secret of simplicity


Sometimes the simplest of projects turns to be the most interesting and challenging of all…Garden Pavilion has this special quality. Located in the Seattle suburbs, this tiny building with a total floor area of 33sqm is positioned at the rear western corner of the main house to maximize the open space between the two volumes. Its purpose was very clear: to serve as a flexible space for several different functions: playroom, office, and guesthouse for visitors with a small kitchenette and a complete bathroom. But how can all these diverse uses fit in such a tiny building? Well, let’s find out the secret behind the simplicity of the Garden Pavilion.

A double-height open plan was the solution adopted to adjust the several program needs in a single space: bathroom and kitchen are disposed beneath a loft area reserved for study and sleeping. A rolling ladder – that leads to the loft – gains a sculptural value for its unusual design made from salvaged wood and hydraulic components.


When seen from the outside, the entire volume reveals a simple copper clad structure positioned on a fieldstone base. In spite of the external metallic skin, the interior finishes are composed by an exposed timber ceiling, painted gypsum board walls and also teak windows.

To provide a strong sense of integrity with the surrounding context, a portion of the living space cantilevers over the stone base, allowing the pavilion to visually float above ground…After all, we are talking about a garden pavilion that efficiently and – most of all – peacefully conquered that required position.



Architect: Gary Shoemaker, Gary Shoemaker Architects PC
Interior Finish Selection: Kim Mankoski, Ninebark Design/Build
Landscape Design & General Contractor: Ninebark Design/Build
Design and Permitting Consultant: Jared Hoke, Red Oke Studio

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