Inexpensive Gabled Garden Shed in Belgium

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Using workaday materials, architect Indra Janda creatively constructs a backyard retreat that looks opaque during the day and glows at night.

In the rural Belgian town of Smetlede, polycarbonate—a type of extra-strong plastic—is often used to sheathe porches and verandas. When architect Indra Janda designed what she calls a “garden room” on her parents’ estate, the humble, inexpensive, and easy-to-work-with material was a natural choice. “But I wanted to use it in a different kind of way,” Janda says. She hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad an entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them. The 484-square-foot room offers a cool respite from summer sun and a warm place to relax in winter.

Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. The 484-square-foot room offers a cool respite from summer sun and a warm place to relax in winter. Photo  of Inexpensive Gabled Garden Shed in Belgium

The 484-square-foot room offers a cool respite from summer sun and a warm place to relax in winter.

Modern home with Grass, Trees, and Shed & Studio. Architect Indra Janda hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad the entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them. Photo  of Inexpensive Gabled Garden Shed in Belgium

Architect Indra Janda hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad the entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them.

Because of its semi-opaque envelope, the building takes on a life of its own: It glows in the evenings and its framing casts shadows that dance throughout the interior during the day. Photo  of Inexpensive Gabled Garden Shed in Belgium modern home

Because of its semi-opaque envelope, the building takes on a life of its own: It glows in the evenings and its framing casts shadows that dance throughout the interior during the day.

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