Lead Contractors: Weston Surman & Deane Architecture Ltd.
Joinery: Tim Gaudin Carpentry & Joinery
Text description provided by the architects. Weston Surman & Deane Architecture were commissioned by an author and illustrator to design and build a studio space in Hackney, East London.
The design sought to satisfy the client’s need for a functional workspace, but moreover to create a building that reflected his passion for children’s literature and mythologies. Drawing on the historically intimate relationship between writers and their shed’s, the space was conceived as a haven in the city; a fairy-tale hut at the bottom of the garden where the client could retreat and immerse himself in his work.
The back-lit cedar facade, shingle cladding, log store and wood burning stove were all intended to play a part in creating this world.The bespoke sliding door and frameless glazing give onto the covered verandah, creating a space where one can enjoy the very worst of the British weather.
The material palette is modest and unassuming, whilst also being resilient and sensitive to ageing; complementing the role of the shed as a place of changing ideas and production. Oiled OSB and painted pine tongue & groove were used for the floors, walls and shelving, while utilitarian garden taps and brass splash-backs surround the reclaimed Belfast sink. A hearth made of cut concrete paving slabs was built to surround the stove.
The offset pitch of the roof allowed for a large north-facing skylight; flooding the workspace with natural light. A bespoke shelving unit on the main internal elevation playfully meanders around the wood burning stove, providing a centre piece with which the client is able to store his large collection of books.
Repeating the working model employed for their first project - the RCA Student Union Cafe - WSD Architecture capitalised on their multi-disciplinary backgrounds in order to act as designers, project managers, site managers and lead contractors for the project. In this way, the practice were able to ensure that the ambitious design could be delivered within a very limited time-frame and budget, whilst also being able to maintain a productive and flexible working relationship with the client.