30.11.2023 Valentina Grossmann

Small Garden Pavilion by Mcmullan Studio

In a commission for the charity organisation Horatio's Garden, the London architectural practice Mcmullan Studio has designed a wooden garden room as a sheltered place for people with spinal injuries to immerse themselves in natural surroundings at all times of the year. Horatio's Garden supports persons with severe spinal injuries and is committed to creating barrier-free gardens for patients who would otherwise have no access to nature.

Healthy materials

The small pod-like garden pavilion is a timber structure with exterior cladding in the form of wood shingles. Regarding the choice of construction materials, particular care was taken to select sustainable, healthy ones – ranging from natural sheep's wool for insulation to formaldehyde-free plywood. Various types of wood and cork inside the pavilion ensure a warm atmosphere. The walls are embellished with circular ceramic elements, thus counteracting the monotonous design of hospital rooms. 

Central skylight in the garden room, © Lucy Shergold

Barrier-free architecture

The pavilion is entered through a large, wheelchair-accessible opening, while windows set at various heights are to enable views of the outdoors according to the patients' respective physical capabilities.  A circular skylight at the centre of the interlocked-beam ceiling floods the interior with natural light. A bed and various seating places enable longer stays for patients and relatives. 

The pavilion temporarily stood on show at the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, and as of 2024 will be permanently available to patients in the garden of the Princess Spinal Injuries Centre in Sheffield. The building will be complemented in future by two further garden rooms and large communal building, all likewise designed by Mcmullan Studio. In the video, the architect Andrew Mcmullan provides insights into the design and creation of the garden room.

Architecture: Mcmullan Studio
Client: Horatio's Garden
Location: Royal Hospital Chelsea, London (GB)

Video: © Stephenson& and Nyima Murry 

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