Earlier this Summer we completed a stunning new gym space and garden room at the home of London-based interior stylist, Valentina Druzhinina. The idea for the space had been in the mind of Valentina for some time, and came to life after her search for a black contemporary garden room led her to the 3rdSpace Modular system.
As a designer and stylist, Valentina has a trained eye for material, detail and texture, and was able to see how the system could bring her vision into reality. It was also ideal, being pre-fabricated off-site, meaning there would be minimal disruption to the landscaping works which were underway.
Staying true to the standard 3rdSpace Modular design, the structure is created from laminated wood posts and beams, into which wall panels and full-height glazing panels slot in. Internally, walls and ceilings use furniture-grade birch plywood which Valentina chose to have finished with a white-tinted wax oil finish. Valentina describes her thoughts on material and tones:
My relationship with colour is a very stable one. I am extremely faithful to a natural palette in everything I do; interior design, fashion or cooking. My approach is very monochrome, always exploring shades of grey and never even mentioning bright colours. Of course texture then comes in, adding richness and exciting the senses.
Further personalised touches were made, including smooth matt black light fittings and power sockets, along with black handles and hinges to the large entrance door. The building is finished externally in black larch rain-screen cladding, contrasting with the changing array of colours that the garden lends throughout the year. A living green roof of sedum provides even greater insulation, whilst adding a further layer of natural colours when seen from above.
I come from a Siberian town of no beauty with its grey aluminium sky and concrete Soviet blocks. What balanced it was an outrageously beautiful nature around. Wild, vast and free. Since an early age I learned to be in a constant state of inspiration to survive the grey reality. That is why there is nothing more beautiful to me than nature.
For practical purposes, a side shed is integrated on the end of the garden room, to store garden tools and equipment – although this element is a custom-made ‘add-on’ it has been externally-clad to visually tie in with the main building.
The space is to be used all year round, principally as a gym – with a weights bench and kettlebells – plus with room for aerobic exercise and yoga. Beyond this, the space provides a place at the end of the garden to escape, relax and enjoy time close to nature.
I glanced across our garden and my heart just skipped a beat. Discreet, intelligent, functional and balanced with its surroundings. We are in love with our black studio!
Photography: Beth Davis