Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Be a Pea in a Pod

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Be a Pea in a Pod

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Chandler

PODS are popping up all over London this summer, from pop-up (or even stay-up) offices at the bottom of the garden to sleeping spaces complete with beds in your home office. "Pod" is the new word for the latest trend in design: self-contained enclosed spaces, usually with a striking shape, kitted out with everything you need for the pod's particular solution in life -- be it to give you an extra room outdoors or an extra dimension to one indoors.

Stealing the style stakes is the startlingly geometric Tetra Shed, a sort of elongated pyramid. "Actually it's a truncated tetrahedron," explains its designer David Ajasa-Adekunle, a young west London-based architect.

While the prototype has a slightly sinister black exterior -- the designer himself says it's a bit "Darth Vader" -- the final version will come in a range of colours, and you can also add metal cladding such as zinc or copper to catch the London light. The inside is full of angle-nooks, with a three-sided door and six-sided window. You'll need a space 10m square in your back garden, which will give you around 8m square inside -- enough for two people to work in an office. Joined-up Tetra "clusters" can create larger spaces -- or even a whole home made out of rubber-coated engineered wood, and lined with ply.

By contrast, the Archipod is also a ready-to-go office, but comes as a gentle sphere three metres across. It's made of wood, covered in homely red cedar shingles and arrives in sections which can be carried through the house. Light floods in from a roof dome. "Advances in computer and networking technology make working from home a real alternative to commuting," says designer Chris Sneesby. You'll have electric heating, power sockets, a porthole window, plastered walls, and you can choose a curvy built-in desk in a choice of finishes. Prices for these back garden office pods often start at around [pounds sterling]15,000, and in most cases you won't need planning permission, but it's best to check with your council. …

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