Monday, December 31, 2012

Shedworking Awards 2012


We've been running our annual prizegiving for a mighty three years now, an opportunity to give a pleasant pat on the back to some of the finest achievements in the shedworking world over the last 12 months. It's been another busy year and so without further ado let's move towards the first gold envelope...

Best design – It’s been another great year for shedlike designs. Most recently, the Forest Pond House (one of the designs up for an award on the AJ Small Projects award) caught our eye, but over the last 12 months we’ve marvelled at tents which looked like sheds, caravans which looked like sheds, floating sheds, rotating sheds, and naturally sheds like hobbitholes. In the end, the winner is as much about concept as design. Custom Built Surrey run by Mark Burton, does produce some nicely built shedworking atmospheres but what Mark is really trying to do is raise awareness of the importance and advantages of tiny house living. In the USA the movement towards living small is really snowballing. In the UK, there are some meagre signs of its emergence, but if it takes off then it will be in no small part due to Mark. Nice work.

Best blog/web site – 2012 was the year that Pinterest really made its mark on the world of sheds with boards popping up all over the interwebs celebrating garden offices and other small design wonders. But in the main while these were a delight to browse, they largely involved simply scrapbooking other people’s work. So it’s ‘traditional’ blogs which have won the day this time round. In joint second place are two blogs which detail the design and build of garden offices, http://buildgardenoffice.blogspot.co.uk and http://buildingastudio.wordpress.com/. Which means that in first place is http://shoeboxdwelling.com run by design journalist Natalia Repolovsky. While not specifically targeting shedworkers, many of Natalia’s posts are perfect for those in garden offices since they feature transformer furniture, desks, shelving and storage in general, all in a succinct yet illuminating style.

Best Tweeter  At its worst, Twitter is a platform for dullness and selfpromotion. At its best, it provides an insight into another world.  The @plankbridge feed from shepherds’ hut specialists Plankbridge was exactly this, always interesting, friendly without being imposing, frequently using photos and video to mix things up, and above all, genuinely reactive rather than simply using it as a broadcasting medium.

Best popularisation of shedworking – A former Shed of the Year winner, it was not the smoothest of years for Songs from the Shed run by Jon Earl. But despite the challenge of financing arguably the UK’s leading music venue, Jon and his impressive list of invited musicians have brought us some tremendous sessions in 2012 (as regular readers will know since we often highlight some of our favourites on Shedworking), and in so doing underlining that shedworking comes not only in all shapes and sizes but also sounds. Help to keep them going by donating to the cause on their site.

Readers' Award – This year’s RHS Chelsea Garden Show had many sheds – and in fact a shepherd’s hut too - on display. Indeed there was a whole separate area devoted to them. But this year’s runaway favourite as nominated by you the readers (in second place was the appealing George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces television series, closely followed by Jane Field Lewis’s excellent book My Cool Shed) was Jo Thompson’s Silver Gilt-winning show garden which featured a garden office-ish caravan, at least partly inspired by the Shedworking blog. It was a lovely garden, a marvellous caravan, and Jo is a smashing lady. Congratulations.

Lifetime achievement award – Lloyd Alter is not a shedworker (though he does have a marvellous outhouse) but this has not stopped him from promoting this blog almost from the very beginning, as well as being a critical friend of what we are attempting to do with it. Many of you will know Lloyd from his work on Treehugger.com where he shares his deep knowledge of the world of architecture and passion for a sustainable lifestyle with a large readership. He writes well, he’s generous, and he has a fine sense of humour. He is, in short, a big hitter and it’s a privilege to have him on our side.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Guide to garden office planning permission


When the Shedworking staff need a helping hand with getting to grips with changes in planning regulations for garden offices, we turn to Lynn Fotheringham at Inside Out. Now, she's put together an excellent guide to the ins and outs of it all which you should read at her site here (which incidentally has a nice new look). ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Friday posts

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to all our readers


“Yo ho, my boys,” said Fezziwig. “No more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Dick. Christmas, Ebenezer. Let’s have the shutters up,” cried old Fezziwig, with a sharp clap of his hands, “before a man can say Jack Robinson.”
Shutters open again on December 27. Annual Shedworking awards announced December 31.
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Fridays posts

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Underwater teepeeworking


Regular readers will remember the homemade teepee we made as a temporary summer Shedworking HQ at the bottom of the garden, about 10ft away from the river. It's been raining a lot here over the last 24 hours and this is what it looks like now... ----------------------------------------------------------
Saturday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Napoleon Complex - a tiny house village

Jay Shafer has left his Tumbleweed Tiny Houses company and set up at Four Lights where one of his new plans is for a tiny house village. Here's what he says:
"In many ways, tiny houses work best in concert with other tiny houses and shared amenities. This is a dream long-shared by many including myself. The place will be zoned as an R.V. park, but will look and feel more like the concept drawings I’m presenting to the left. I’ve used the same design principles that go into each of my tiny house designs to create an environment that feels contained but not confining—vibrant but not at all crowded.For now, I’m jokingly using the term “co-housing for the antisocial” because, while its design does facilitate interaction, Napoleon Complex will also provide enough privacy to satisfy even its most introverted inhabitants."
Set up like a co-opeartive, residents will own their mobile house and the land it's on, paying a monthly fee for keeping communal facilities in shape. He hopes to have it in place by 2015. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homestead Timber Buildings - Manufacturers of Quality Timber Buildings

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Forest Pond House, sunken library, KREOD


Pond House by TDO from BenBlossom on Vimeo.
The Architects' Journal annual Small Projects Award always provides a feast of marvellous designs, many of them shedworking-based. Here are a few of our favourite things from the 2013 shortlist (click here to see all of them). Above is the Forest Pond House, by TDO Architecture, entrancingly described as "a space for meditation and a children’s den in the woods" in rural Hampshire. It's a timber build in plywood, glass and copper and frankly, I want it.




Next is a sunken library outbuilding in the garden of a home in the South Downs National Park by MW Architects. Here's what they say about it:
"The building is cut into the natural slope and extends to form a retaining wall for a new lawn and orchard at the same level as the main house. At the lower level the library has an aspect back into woodland. Viewed from the house the building peeks up above the lawn making it practically invisible and maintains the woodland view behind. The library is a quiet escape from the busy household. Like a cave; it is buried in its landscape but visually connected to the surrounding environment."
Again, it's on my list for Father Christmas.





And finally, KREOD from Pavilion Architects (photos by Jaap Oepkes), technically an exhibition space but still a wonderful shedlike construction which could be used for shedworking, built as 20m2 hexagonal waterproof and interconnecting pods to resemble three seeds. They're build of kebony, fact fans. You can see them at Peninsula Square, between Emirates Air Line and The O2 at Greenwich Peninsula until April 2013. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Annie St photography studio






A lovely photography studio built by Texas-based Kartwheel which also features a guest suite loft as well as a dark room. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3rdSpace modular garden rooms
Tuesday posts are sponsored by 3rdSpace modular garden rooms.
Customise | Configure | Extend | Relocate

Monday, December 17, 2012

Platform 5's shoffice




A lovely garden office by architects Platform 5 at the back of a 1950s terraced house in London's St John’s Wood with the brief "requiring the shoffice to be conceived of as a sculptural object that flowed into the garden space". Here's what they say about it:
The glazed office space nestles into an extruded timber elliptical shell, reminiscent of a wood shaving, and forms a small terrace in the lawn. The interior is oak lined and fitted out with a cantilevered desk and storage. Two rooflights - one glazed above the desk with another open to the sky outside the office bring light into the work space.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Vote for the readers' shedworking awards 2012

On Friday we'll be announcing the results of the annual Shedworking awards (see here for a full rundown on last year's winners who included Nigel Nunnett for his work at Chelsea Flower Show, Christian' Payne's DocuDen, Joanne Harris, Unbound, and John 'Shedman' Davies). We want your votes for the Readers' Award section, won last year by the Irish Men's Sheds Association which has gone on to great things in the past 12 months.

There's no shortlist drawn up by the Shedworking judges for this award, it's simply down to what you the readers of this site believe to be the most impressive step forward in the world of shedworking during 2012 - it could be anything, a book, a play, a tweet, a design, a quote, and so on. Simply add your vote (and reasons if you would like to) in the comments section or email me directly, tweet it to @shedworking, add it to the Shedworking page on Facebook or indeed on that Google+. Or just tell me if you see me. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shed Sunday



Levin Igloos
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Sunday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shed-based golfing simulator given greens light


"A garden shed housing a golf simulator will remain in place despite being described as ‘an unacceptable monstrosity’ by councillors. Dean White, of Wood Lane, Newhall, has been given retrospective permission by South Derbyshire District Council’s planning committee to keep the shedlike structure in his back garden. It currently houses a golf simulator which neighbours said they were ‘dismayed’ about, describing it as too high and too close to their homes, and that the simulator would result in excess noise... Fellow committee member Mick Bale added that if the structure was clad in timber ‘it wouldn’t be as half as offensive and it would blend nicely into the scene... Councillors voted by a majority of eight to four in favour of letting the shed stay providing it was clad in timber. The Burton Mail
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Friday posts

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas shed decorations


If you are adding seasonal decorative elements to your shedlike atmosphere, like the Conran Shop above, then please do drop us a line so we can feature your shed on the site. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homestead Timber Buildings - Manufacturers of Quality Timber Buildings

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent calendar beach huts in Brighton: roundup


As promised at the end of last month, a few of our favourites so far (go to the Beyond Church's blog to see more) including this surprisingly shedworkingesque one above. Look out for some of these appearing in the Christmas special of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces.





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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Call for Proposals: Mobile Artist in Residence

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) invites you to submit proposals for a Mobile Artist in Residence project. The opportunity is to design and build a mobile artist studio; undertake a mobile residency in east London with a programme of public activities; and support a mentorship programme with an education partner for young people. This will be a high quality, innovative, exciting and engaging arts project, that will move around the surrounding areas of the Park in the four boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, and at certain times, into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Legacy Corporation is inviting proposals from a wide range or artists (or groups of artists), curators and arts organisations throughout the UK in all art forms, to develop this exciting project with us and an external educational partner, who will be appointed in early 2013. For information on how to apply, please follow this link. Submissions due by 12 noon, 17 December 2012.
Thanks to Fiona Gilsenan for spotting this. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3rdSpace modular garden rooms
Tuesday posts are sponsored by 3rdSpace modular garden rooms.
Customise | Configure | Extend | Relocate

Monday, December 10, 2012

Reclaimed chapel doors used in cob garden studio



Built by Kate Edwards of Edwards and Eve Cob Building who design and build lovely cob garden offices (and other buildings). Here's what they say about it:
"Cob-bale roundhouse we built for a client in Norfolk - the stem wall uses reclaimed pavement sets from Norwich, the bales are from the field next door and the cob walls are made entirely of earth from the foundation trench. The doors are reclaimed from a local chapel."
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Shed Sunday

Betty & Violet -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sunday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Put a green roof on your garden office


A nice, short, piece by Kate Bradbury in the Guardian looks at sheds and green roofs. Here's a snippet:
Green roofs are fantastic for a number of reasons. They provide food and shelter for wildlife, including birds, bees and butterflies and other insects. They help to counter the effects of the loss of green space in our cities – London alone is losing equivalent to two-and-a-half Hyde Parks of land each year – which is reducing wildlife habitats, increasing the risk of flooding as there is less land to absorb rainfall, and contributing to the urban heat island effect.
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Saturday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Hospital pods


As well as the increased use of shedlike atmospheres in schools, there has been a definite rise in the use of similar structures within hospitals, as we've recorded here on Shedworking. Another entry in this folder is the latest installation from officepod at the Whittington Hospital, London. Here's what they say about the build:
"The hospital is typical of the many organisations that find themselves under intense pressure to make the best possible use of their resources, including their real estate. And of course, ensuring that patients and staff are provided with a wide range of suitable accommodation is a key objective. In this instance, OfficePOD were asked to create a consultation room from which the hospital benefits in two ways; firstly, this important facility occupies otherwise difficult space in an atrium setting and, secondly, it frees up a room elsewhere for clinical use."
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Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Friday posts