This is a shed in spirit only. Like a shed, it is clear what it is, where it stands and what it is made from. Unlike a shed, it has a flat roof, chamfered corners, very large windows and you can see straight through it. Surrounded by fences, shrubs and trees, its nearest neighbour is another shed: in this setting, the special attributes of the Pottery Shed are unlikely to pass without notice. The existing garden path is made from irregular paving slabs, loosely slotted together, and its route makes a series of angled adjustments from one side of the garden to the other. The chamfered corners of the new shed continue this pattern, as well as supporting the design in other ways. By diminishing the section towards the view, they increase the sense of separation between the outside and the inside; their displacement on opposite walls helps to define the two areas required by the client, for practical work and study, and they counteract the lack of cross-sectional stiffness which can be a weakness in tube structures.

The construction of the Pottery shed follows a familiar pattern. There is a strong contrast between the colour and materiality of the exterior and the interior, and an equivalent level of concern for the continuity of surface in each case. Internally, the same plywood is used for the floor, walls and ceiling, with no distracting cover strips at the junctions between planes. There are separate ventilation panels so that the windows do not need to open and, as a result, the fixing of the glazing can be in included in the detailing of the cladding and lining. Lacking a conventional frame, the view in and the view out have equal significance, which means that they are completely reversible.

Pottery Shed

London, 2003
Project Description