Monday, July 25, 2016

Shed of the Year 2016: TV trailer

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Flowerona: Shedworker


A lovely example of a white garden office, the shedworking spot of flower specialist Flowerona. Here's what founder Rona Wheeldon says about it:
It’s not grand by any means! Bijoux would be more apt a description. But it’s just what I wanted as an alternative place for me to escape to…my little sanctuary. I’ve only been using it for the last month or so, since the weather’s warmed up. And I’ve found that I get lots of work done there... I tend to head out there in the afternoons, with a cuppa, for a couple of hours or so, as a break from my office indoors, a spare bedroom in our house. I love having the doors wide open, hearing birdsong and buzzing bees. And it’s even a lovely place to be when it’s raining.


There are more photos and source information - the building comes from Waltons - at her blog here. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Friday, July 22, 2016

RHS Tatton Park Flower show: Sheds Roundup

The above is our favourite of this year's shedlike structures at RHS Tatton Park, a beautiful combination of microarchitecture and books by Kelly Brown. Here's what she says about it:

My design is based around a garden library. The facade of the building is to be clad from reclaimed timber, old doors, skirting, flooring etc. The intention is for it to be as colourful as possible in order to depict the colourful spines found on books and also the colour of flowers found in the garden. The internal space offers a larger than average window to let natural light in, with a small seat to sit and read books. Books can be taken from the bespoke shelving or you can simply sit and read pages from gardening books that will be pasted to the walls. As this will be donated to my daughter’s nursery I have proposed artificial turf to the floor, bringing the outside in, encouraging them to take their shoes and socks off!
Here is The Millenial Shed which is a comment on the UK's current housing crisis by Holly Fleming.
And finally, The Moo House by Andy Walker which comes with its own cow. --------------------------------------------------------
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Le Corbusier's Cabanon added to UNESCO World Heritage List


UNESCO has put more than a dozen works by Le Corbusier onto its growing lists of important architectural projects around the world, including his Cabanon. Shedworking's Garden Show correspondent Emma Townshend visited and wrote about it in a previous post (read it here) but essentially he built it in the mid-1950s as an exercise in minimal habitation but also intending it to be a birthday present for his wife Yvonne. It look him less than 60 minutes to design and six months to build using prefab pieces of oak from Corsica for the interior and rough pine boards for the exterior (rather better than his first plan of using aluminium). In all it is 16 square metres - Le Corbusier boasted not a square centimetre was wasted.

Le Corbusier: The Interior of the Cabanon, Le Corbusier 1952 - Cassina Reconstruction 2006 from Miami Design District on Vimeo.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

my cool treehouse: book review


Regular readers will be familiar with the work of friend of Shedworking stylist and author Jane Field-Lewis who in her excellent 'my cool...' series of books has already covered sheds, houseboats, caravans, and campervans. Jane's latest title is 'my cool treehouse' (Pavilion, £14.99 with cracking photography by Tina Hillier and lovely endpapers) and it is arguably the best so far.

Subtitled 'An inspirational guide to stylish treehouses', the book takes a close look at more than 30 treehouses around the world, from incredibly simple ones that you can attach in an eco-friendly way to trees in a matter of minutes to cleverly recycled havens of calm and spectacularly complex modern versions.

"A treehouse creates its own world," says Jane, "its own atmosphere. It's a distillation of some of the values and qualities we cherish most. Resourcefulness, shelter, exploration, safetly, and romance, all entwined with an innate childlike desire for inhabiting something that is out of reach."

There are eight categories - simple, architectural, soulful, handmade, art installations, eclectic, businesses, and modern - and each treehouse is introduced and then analysed in a 'style notes' section. There's also a useful sourcebook at the end. Naturally, it's the businesses chapter the Shedworking staff were most interested to browse - our favourite were the off-grid treehouses created by Peter Canham in the Welsh mountains. Overall, a strong contender for shedlike book of the year.



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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Shed of the Year 2016 on Channel 4


The annual Shed of the Year competition is back on our screens on Channel 4 from Friday July, 29 at 8pm. The first episode focuses on 'Unique and Historic' categories, and following Fridays will be 'Pub and Workshop/Studio' and 'Budget and Cabin/Summerhouse'. Judging with founder and organiser Uncle Wilco will be the usual team of George Clarke, Will Hardie, Laura Clark, and Max Mcmurdo, as well as last year's winner, Walter. You can view the finalists here. ----------------------------------------------------
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Garden Hideaways at Tatton Park Flower Show


Last year, the Tatton Park Flower Show launched a new area called Garden Hideaways which proved very successful, so much so that they're repeating it again this year. It's the same idea, all about making the most of microarchitecture and they've picked out three promising concepts in particular for visitors to enjoy this week: Blooming Bridgewater, which explores the eponymous canal, and Outside-In and The Garden Library which both "focus on creating a retreat from the busy world outside". Pictures later in the week here on Shedworking but in the meantime pictured above is last year's winner of the section, The Invisibility Tardis Shed of Navel Contemplation, designed by Manchester School of Art. Below are some early tweets of the sheds.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Bruntwood Field Office: The future of the outdoor workspace?


Office design specialists Bruntwood, headline sponsor of the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park which runs July 20-24, has put together a remarkable 'garden office' called The Bruntwood Field Office which they describe as "a new, more tranquil way of working... a greener, healthier way to work".

The 10x15m Bruntwood Field Office (pictured above) is designed by landscape architect Planit-IE and features a garden which will be divided by traditional native hedgerows and trees into a series of rooms including a boardroom with an 8ft table made from a local oak tree, a kitchen with feeding stations growing fruit and vegetables, and a country-style 'kissing gate' at reception. As much of it as possible will subsequently be reused in the company's other projects.
 “The Bruntwood Field Office invites you to come in and explore our playful interpretation of how you might make an office in a field," says Bruntwood Chief Executive Chris Oglesby. "The challenge was to do something different, by exploring ways in which business and culture can stimulate activity and create opportunity for a better working environment."

There are various events in and around the field office including what sounds like marvellous performances on Thursday and Friday by percussionist Delia Stevens who will be composing music using sounds made out of everyday office equipment.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Jessie Burton: Shedworker


Jessie Burton, bestselling author of The Miniaturist and most recently The Muse, works from the garden office at her London home (or what she calls her 'she shed' in a Guardian interview which describes it as a "literary wendy house" which was paid for from the profits of her first novel and in which she wrote the second). You can see her at work in an excellent Audible video which looks at how her latest work was turned into an audiobook.


Here she is in the Spectator, talking about her shedworking lifestyle:
The second issue — that of sustained isolation — is a much harder nut to crack. You cannot write a novel by committee. Before I was published, my professional career was conducted in gregarious rehearsal rooms and communal city offices. These days, working from my writing shed, I regret the lunchtimes particularly, because there’s no one around to play table-tennis with me in the garden. Then the phone rings: it’s my editor at Picador, and as we brainstorm for two hours on how to make the second book fly, I feel less alone.

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