De Matos Ryan adds Penfold playspace to garden of London home


Architectural studio De Matos Ryan created a “treeless tree house” named Penfold in the yard of a house in London. It has a pyramid-shaped timber structure that can be accessed simply by crawling underneath.

Named after the character of Danger Mouse, a favorite cartoon of client children, the 4.1-meter-high playhouse features a high observatory, a crow’s nest, and triangular windows that surround the surrounding landscape. is.

De Matos Ryan created a “treeless tree house” in a garden in London

“Our client was a young family who lamented the loss of a diseased tree in a neighborhood garden,” explained De Matos Ryan.

“The kids wanted a tree house, but they couldn’t build a tree house because they didn’t have their own trees. So a brief explanation is to have a tree house without trees. It was to design. “

Penfolds playhouse by DeMatos Ryan
The wooden building is named Penfolds after the cartoon character

The penfold is constructed from a series of triangular Douglas-firs frames and is accessed through a low crawl space at its base. In other words, adults are “disturbed to some extent”.

The framework remains exposed and pre-manufactured to allow its individual components to be transported to the site through existing homes.

A child crawling under a wooden playground
Access by crawl

The modular design makes it easy to remove and remove structures when selling a home. This was a condition for a building permit to be granted.

Inside, the two levels are connected by a timber and rope ladder and illuminated by an openable skylight at the top of the pyramid. The skylight is equipped with a sensor that automatically closes when it rains.

Triangular windows that reflect the shape of the structure are strategically placed at different heights around the penfolds, creating different observatories that can be opened to ventilate the space.

External grade LED tube lighting mounted on the inner wall allows space to last longer into the night.

Façade of Penfolds Playhouse by DeMatos Ryan
The triangular window is on the outside

“The unusual shape and scale of the structure provides room for imaginative play and forgiving quest,” said the studio.

“At any time, you can simultaneously remind yourself of endless dramatic inquiries about hollow tree trunks, spaceships, castle turrets, and more.”

Wooden playhouse with rope ladder
Ladder links two levels inside

A stainless steel cable grid covers the outside covered with foam wood, which is gradually filled with vines.

According to the studio, this is expected to “ultimately create an unprecedented sense of wood.”

Wooden interior of Penfold playhouse by DeMatos Ryan
The wooden building remains exposed

De Matos Ryan was founded in 1999 by architects Jose Esteves De Matos and Angus Morrogh-Ryan.

The studio previously designed a larch-clad extension in a traditional pub in the English village of Nun Monkton and refurbished the heritage-listed York Theater Royale.

Photo by Hufton + Crow.



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