One of our readers has sent us photos of her weekend house on the river Bille that flows through Hamburg, Germany. Marion designed the small cottage herself, and she and her husband built it over a couple of years with the help of a professional carpenter and assistance from a friend.
Marion’s cottage is located in an allotment garden. Allotment gardens are typically managed by an allotment association, which divides the land into individual garden plots and assigns them to the member gardeners in exchange for a small annual payment. Marion’s allotment garden is one of the largest in Europe, with over 2,000 individual garden plots. She and her husband really lucked out in getting a spot right on the river.
Some allotments don’t allow any structures apart from a small toolshed. However many others do let the gardeners build a small cottage suitable for overnight stays. The allotment is then not just a place to grow food but also a retreat, allowing the gardeners to spend weekends and short vacations there relaxing and socializing. However full-time residency is not permitted.
Marion’s garden cottage is 24 m2 (258 ft2). The living area is cozy with a woodstove for cooler nights, but most of the living and dining will likely take place out on the wood deck. At one end of the cottage there is a kitchenette and a half bath outfitted with a composting toilet.
The sleeping loft above has lots of space thanks to two dormers. The dormers are actually a hybrid combination of gabled doghouse dormers and shed dormers. Doghouse dormers have a taller front wall which gives more headroom near the outside wall while shed dormers offer greater headroom away from the wall. Marion’s design merges them to get the advantages of both.
Thank you Marion for sharing your garden cottage!
Photographs by/courtesy of Marion Tepp.
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