An Architect Builds His Own Backyard Oasis From Salvaged Materials
Just a few blocks from the swooping Barclays Center arena in downtown Brooklyn sits an unexpectedly quiet haven, a petite 1,300-square-foot patch of green punctuated by a small outbuilding. This modest structure, a single room with just enough space for an army cot or chair, was designed and built by architect Nicholas Hunt, who runs the studio Hunt Architecture with his brother, Andrew, in addition to working for larger firms.
"The point of the project for me was an escape from the city—both in terms of building it and hanging out in it, inhabiting it," says Hunt, who spent a total of about seven days over four months constructing the space. "It was for the act of building and to be able to do this for myself, to be my own client; that’s something young architects rarely get a chance to do."
The 5-foot-by-11-foot studio was completed for just under $1,200, a small sum made possible by the clever reuse of materials, like cedar planks salvaged from another job and the white fence pickets from his parents’ property in Massachusetts that make up the interior. Plexiglas fills a skylight and wood-slatted windows, keeping out prying eyes while opening up the interior to views of greenery and sky.
"Once you’re in it," says Hunt, "you feel outside the city."