Not All Work and No Play in These Eco-Friendly Garden Pods

August 18, 2015 by

JPow_Archipod_garden_office_urbangardensweb Photo: Jonathan Pow.

UK designer-inventor Chris Sneebsy says he designed his backyard office pod, Archipod, “around the idea that a garden building should become part of the garden landscape.”


Made in Maine
Until American architect Judy Bernier fell for Sneebsy’s design, the 9′-6″spheres were only available in the UK. Bernier has collaborated with Sneebsy and now US and Canadian telecommuters can own a Podzook, the stateside version of the Archipod made in Maine of locally sourced materials. Maine’s history of wooden boat building makes it an appropriate locale for the assemblage of these compact “vessels.”


“The main component of the pods, timber, grows in abundance here,” said Bernier. “Maine is, after all, called the Pine Tree State. There are folks who make insulation out of blue jeans. The shingles for the pods come from a Mom and Pop operation a few towns over. The cedar for these is harvested right here in Maine. The domes are made in Calais. The flooring, reclaimed, is from the bottom of the Penobscot River. Sourcing local products has been one of the more rewarding parts of this whole journey. I have met some incredible people along the way.”



Plug and Play Design
Podzook is pretty much plug and play like an RV. It’s hooked up with electric heat, ventilation, power outlets, enjoys natural light from a roof skylight, and is prefabricated in sections for easy assembly.


Bernier is as flexible in her customization options as the pod is in its use. Podzook pod can be an office, studio, playhouse, guest quarters, reading nook, or simply a backyard sanctuary. It can take up residence in a garden, yard, on a dock, on a floating raft or on the beach, in the middle of the woods, on a rooftop, in a parking lot…anywhere really.


Set on a concrete block foundation, the structure measures 9 feet and 6 inches at its equator, and is 8 feet tall. A slightly larger “fat pod” will be available in the future. The pod’s curved plywood walls are insulated with foil insulation and a vapor barrier and have no visible joints. Typically clad in cedar shingles, customers can customize the Podzook as long as the basic shell of the structure remains the same. Interior walls have a plasterboard finish applied by hand and painted in a matte Zero-VOC paint.


The Podzook’s gull-wing door feels very spaceship-like to me. Like the original Archipod, the door is constructed with gas struts specially imported from the UK–the only portion of the structure’s shell not made in America. Ready, as Bernier says, “to plunk one of these bad boys down on your property”?

Podzook available for $32K-$40K. Images via Archipod and Podzook. h/t Ecobuilding Pulse.


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