Moon creates stunning garden studio with Thrutone slates

Bristol based Moon Design + Build has used Marley Eternit’s Thrutone fibre cement slates to create stunning vertical cladding on the Garden Studio project, which was nominated for a prestigious architecture award.

The client’s brief was to create a stand-alone garden studio to be used for making glass artwork. Moon Design + Build re-built and extended the existing dilapidated concrete garage structure to create a new single storey studio at the end of the garden to the Victorian terraced house in Bristol.

The property owners were keen to explore options for the external envelope of the studio that weren’t timber or render but were visually appealing and low maintenance.  Moon suggested using Thrutone fibre cement slates as vertical cladding to create a striking, yet practical design.

Billy Butler, architect at Moon, comments: “There were a number of reasons why we specified the Thrutone fibre cement slates for use as vertical cladding.  Firstly they met the clients’ requirements for low material cost and maintenance as well as having strong visual appeal.  The fibre cement was also suitable because of its resistance to surface spread of flame.  This was a Building Regulations requirement we had to meet as the studio is close to the neighbouring boundary.  The A+ rating that the Thrutone slates can achieve in the BRE Green Guide was also a key factor in the specification.”

The Garden Studio building is split into two distinct volumes; the new studio and existing garage plinth at garden level are clad in the Thrutone fibre cement slate, with the street level garage above clad in vertical cedar boarding.

Billy Butler continues: “The slate cladding both hides the unsightly blockwork behind and achieves a horizontal emphasis, helping to reduce the perceived height of the building.

“This was the first time we had used Thrutone fibre cement slates as vertical cladding, so we worked with Marley Eternit’s technical support team to find out the closest matching RAL colour, so that we could match the joinery and sliding doors, as well as to get advice for how to detail the corner junction.”

Charlotte Hughes, product manager at Marley Eternit, comments: “The Garden Studio project is a great example of how the flexibility of our Thrutone fibre cement slates means that not only can they be used to produce stunning roofs, but also to create inspirational yet low cost facades.  Their environmental credentials also make them a popular choice on projects like this where sustainability is an important design factor.”

Thrutone fibre cement slates have a smooth surface and square edges to give a low profile slate at an economical price.  They are particularly suited to vertical cladding and complex roof geometries down to 15 degrees.  As part of Marley Eternit’s fibre cement range, Thrutone slates also boast superb sustainability credentials, helping to achieve environmental credits with a ‘very good’ BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing accreditation and the best environmental rating (A+) in the BRE Green Guide.   Fibre cement also offers sustainability benefits throughout its whole life cycle, as it can be fully recycled at the end of its use. 

The Garden Studio was put forward for the 2014 AJ Small Projects award. For further information visit

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