This 35 sq m holiday cottage is only a short walk away from the owner’s north London home - at the bottom of the Victorian garden of the main house. It has been designed as place where the family of four can spend their leisure time and weekends at a moment’s notice. The long garden acts as a divide between two worlds, which despite their physical proximity, belong to completely different universes. The main house is the place where the activities of everyday life and work are conducted; the “holiday” home is synonymous with relaxation, fun and entertainment. The client’s demands were for an inexpensive, versatile building containing a protected area where children can play in relative safety. There is also space for more adult occupations in the form of an artist’s studio and storage area for gardening equipment. In short, it is a place where artistic inclinations can be indulged and children can enjoy a sense of freedom, albeit bounded, and spend the odd summer night away from home. The construction itself is a hybrid, a cross between a modernised form of monumental park pavilion and a mobile home that recreates a mini home-from-home. Yet the architect has done more than meld two different architectural styles into one. The building’s transparent, essential design affords a truly new lifestyle, not a smaller version of an alternative residence fitted into a converted garden shed. The building’s elongated parallelepiped shape, in deference to the great depth of its Victorian garden site, has been adjusted to accommodate the numerous trees that have stood in the garden since it was created. On the front facing the garden, a sort of terrace fans out from the façade to create a transitional space sheltered by the projecting roof. This latter, a series of flat, semi-transparent polycarbonate sheets resting on long wooden beams covers the entire building. Sitting atop the elongated box building, it provides a thin protective layer that allows light to flood the whole interior. Occupants can appreciate the intermittent changes in natural light as passing clouds shield the sun. it affords a heightened awareness of the passing seasons. The glazed frontage creates a continuum between terrace and interior whose spruce and birch plywood walls and flooring are clearly visible from outside. Resting on a slender steel frame set into shallow reinforced concrete foundations that do not interfere with the roots of the ancient trees, the building seems to hover above the ground.