Dezeen Magazine

Derelict shed converted by Sue Architekten into writer's studio and playroom

Sue Architekten has converted a 1930s outhouse near Vienna into a writing studio, guest room and playhouse, accessed via a trapdoor.

The Viennese studio refurbished the black timber shed for a family living in a recently renovated house in the Vienna Woods, near the town of Eichgraben.

The Enchanted Shed by Sue Architekten

The ground floor of the 30-square-metre shed is used to store gardening tools, but a brass hatch in the ceiling leads up to the light-filled upper space.

Called The Enchanted Shed, it is mainly used as a writing studio, but can also host guests or function as a playroom.

The Enchanted Shed by Sue Architekten

"The special appeal of this project lay in the rediscovery of these old outbuildings in the shadows of the Vienna Woods villas," said the architects.

The Enchanted Shed by Sue Architekten

"Back in the 1930s, few people could afford a basement, let alone a garage," they continued. "And so they built their own sheds to store wood, raise rabbits or boil laundry, which was then hung up to dry in the attic."

The Enchanted Shed by Sue Architekten

"Over the past few decades these structures have lost their original purpose, and many are falling apart. This is a real pity."

Upstairs, one gable is entirely glazed to permit views into the treetops, while an upholstered seat that doubles as a bed is integrated into the opposite end of the space.

The Enchanted Shed by Sue Architekten

"Spotlights illuminate the brass in the evening, creating a warm light – even in freezing winter, when the unheated room is used for cooling down after a sauna session," explained the architects.

The Enchanted Shed by Sue Architekten

The ceiling and walls are panelled in varnished grey fir, while the floorboards are a more warm-toned wood.

Downstairs, double doors give the owners easy access to gardening tools, their lawnmower and fruit crates.

The Enchanted Shed by Sue Architekten

The prevalence of garden studios is increasing as real-estate prices spike.

New York's Brooklyn is one of the hotspots for this typology – the area has seen a flurry of shed-like studio spaces appear as residents look to maximise limited space.

Photography is by Andreas Buchberger.

Project credits:

Architecture: Sue Architekten
Project team: Christian Ambos, Michael Anhammer, Harald Höller
Collaborator: Anna Ladurner