This is a great example of how even a small city courtyard can be repurposed with the help of clever and streamlined design. If you’ve always thought that your space is too small for a permanent SIPS structure, this case study of a garden gym reveals some of the neat tricks used to maximise space.

The client brief was for a small gym which would be used for triathlon training.

The site was a small courtyard in Chiswick.  Conveniently, the space was already fully paved and level, ready for the screw foundations to be installed. The build took place in February, through some awful weather including both rain and snow. Fortunately the ground screw foundations are easy to install in any weather and the project timeline was not affected at all.

The site pre-build. Conveniently paved but under-utilised.

Access problems

The most challenging part of this project was the access to the site. In this case, the only access to the site was right through the clients’ house, which meant we had to carry all parts of the building, including the SIPS structure in through the front door and out through the back! Thankfully the panels were just small enough to fit.

 

Minimising design to maximise space

Two design features were omitted from the 3.3m x 3m design, to create a more streamlined building and to maximise remaining courtyard space for the client to enjoy.  We excluded a deck step and also an overhang, to produce a minimalist and functional space. A white render was chosen to match the existing courtyard walls, making the garden gym look very much in keeping with the existing garden design.

Because the building was small, we included as much glass as possible in order to make the gym feel open and light. Two sets of sliding doors made with aluminium frames improved this even further, enabling the whole corner to open up.

 

Internal finishes

The interior was kept simple too, with LED downlights, two double socket power sources and no heating. The client decided that because the small room would be used to vigorous cardio activity, the room would be warm enough without.

 

Rendered Garden Gym

We think this beats a busy gym after work.

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