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Garden Gym London


During the COVID -19 lockdown we were approached by a celebrity personal trainer to design a new outbuilding in the garden of his London home to act as a home gym and filming studio while his commercial gyms were closed.


The brief was to create a “spectacular space” to promote the client’s personal training business and create a positive training environment.


He approached Design Storey with an aspiration to create a unique fitness space after seeing our successful LUXE fitness project online. 


The design concept was to create a discrete and stealthy outbuilding that dissolves into the foliage at the bottom of the garden, providing a contemporary counterpoint to the main house. The building is clad in dark stained timber referencing the timber panelling on the arts and crafts style house, which contrasts with the verdant garden, yet is sympathetic with the wider conservation area. 


A Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) system was chosen for the structure to provide a lightweight, economical and fast method of construction. Internally, the interior of the outbuilding is lined with birch ply which reflects the owner’s sustainable ethos and provides a unique finish for a gym.  A wall of bespoke joinery acts as storage for weights and training equipment, creating both a practical and visual backdrop for his personal training sessions. 

The main house is an attractive early twentieth century Arts & Crafts house located in the Ruislip Conservation Area.


Ruislip is one of London’s first “Metroland” suburbs and this mock-tudor building, was constructed in the garden suburb tradition. 

The site was sensitive, lying within the Root Protection Area (RPA) of several trees, including an ancient oak tree that predates the surrounding buildings. In order to minimise damage to the protected trees, the building had to “hover” above the ground, we worked closely with the arboriculturalist & structural engineer to explore an appropriate and cost-effective foundation system to minimise damage to the root systems.


The presence of the trees, meant the ridge and eave height of the outbuilding were outside of what would be allowed under “Permitted Development” therefore planning permission was required. 

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