A Modern Backyard Retreat in Sydney by Welsh + Major

This sharp concrete and steel getaway is set at the back of a garden lot of a late-Victorian house within inner-city Sydney. Designed by the Australian architecture firm Welsh + Major, the retreat is surrounded by trees and shrubbery, making you think it’s a world away from the bustling city.


Small House - Welsh + Major - Sydney - Exterior - Humble Homes

The building has been dubbed the Garden Room, and is intended to be used by the home owners as a place of relaxation, or as a guest house for visiting friends and family. It also provides a sheltered parking area for a car and bicycles under one of its “winged” canopies.


Small House - Welsh + Major - Sydney - Living and Dining Room - Humble Homes

The building has been inspired by the immediate garden surroundings – the architects wanted to create a structure that’s composed of indoor and outdoor spaces that surround, and are surrounded by, the garden. With this in mind, the retreat is heavily glazed around its perimeter.


Small House - Welsh + Major - Sydney - Interior - Humble Homes

The actual structure of the Garden Room is composed of two pavilions, which shelter the interior and exterior spaces. The roof is composed mainly of reinforced concrete and is supported by a steel frame, and a central reinforced concrete wall.

Small House - Welsh + Major - Sydney - Entrance and Bathrom - Humble Homes

There are three main rooms under the pavilion-like roof – the exterior parking/storage space, an interior living room, and an adjoining space that contains a small bathroom and kitchenette. The steel structure and concrete underside have been exposed throughout the interior, with some room, like the living room, making use of timber sheeting to soften the austere appearance.

Small House - Welsh + Major - Sydney - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

Instead of using partitions, the architects used a range of different floor surfaces to help define the individual rooms (this has also been extended to the roof and walls). From the architects: “It bookends a lush central garden space with the garden flowing around and through the structure.”

For more small houses and retreats, check out the Happy Cheap House by Tommy Carlsson. Or, this small, cozy and quirky home called KN House. See all retreats.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Brett Boardman

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. I just absolutely love this floor plan. Niall you have a true gift and thank you for sharing your ideas.

  2. Dear Niall
    All the projects done by u are extremely brilliant and I look forward to your some more awesome works. Being a naturalist I love the works which encourages others to b eco-friendly nd sustainable. Keep spreading ur great ideas……