Monday, October 31, 2016

Zedbox: Studio-style living space in the garden


Pre-fab is very definitely back. Of course this is not news for shedworkers, but it looks like the impact on the UK housing market could be immense. The 'tiny home' sector is already growing rapidly in the USA, but is at the moment less spectacular in Britain.

The latest entrant to the market is Zedbox from Smart Garden Offices which describes the concept as "studio-style living space in the garden". According to their new website, the first Zedboxes will be up and running in spring next year. Here's what they say about them:
"These beautiful, comfortable and affordable homes are manufactured in our large UK factory. Each Zedbox model is a lovely, self-contained designer home which your local Dealership will assemble in just a few days."
 

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Garden office autumn bliss

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

David Mitchell: Shedworker


David Mitchell, bestselling author of Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks and most recently Slade House, is a shedworker. "I am happiest in my hut in County Cork, with a pot of green tea and a large, uncluttered table," he told the Paris Review.

There are no pictures of his garden office and very few details but according to the Daily Telegraph it is triple-insulated and he has painted the walls orange and the ceiling blue. John Walsh in the Independent addes a few more details in an interview:
We go outside to talk in his shed, where he writes. I'd been expecting a sizeable barn as befits such an oceanically ambitious writer, its walls covered in plot blueprints and maps, sheets full of time-scales, arrowhead diagrams, maybe a blackboard with different-coloured chalks. But this is the smallest shed in the world, an austere little hut with a table and chair, a radio and, mystifyingly, no books. It's hard to square this featureless bonsai shack with the massive imagination that bangs and crashes around inside it.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Art studio shed with sliding walls: video


A thing of beauty by Caspar Schols, as revealed on the always excellent dezeen (where you can see lots more photos by Jorrit 't Hoen), built for his mother as an art studio and recreation space for her grandchildren. Made from Douglas fir, but with a glass shell it has a clever lifting bed contraption and a central fireplace.


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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Garden office in a forest


A lovely back to nature positioning for this Booth's Garden Studios garden office belonging to Rosie White. Interestingly, she reports that it is fully automated in terms of security, lighting, heating and power as her company actually supplies hard wired and wireless solutions. "We are increasingly asked by clients whether we can supply automation to external work buildings/outbuildings," she told Iain at Booths.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Lumber Loft



The Lumber Loft comes from Mark Burton's Tiny House UK and was on display at the latest The Glamping Show. "After last year's show," said Mark, "I noticed lots of visitors mentioning that they had a glamping site or farm with lovely views over hills, field, lakes, streams or the good old British countryside. This is why we built this one off design with my usual lofted bed area but with large windows to soak up the view."

Nicknamed The Lumber Loft, it is 16ft long and built on a 2.7 ton chassis. The kitchen is a free standing unit, and there is also a modern composting WC. The whole thing has hardwood flooring and is fully insulated with outer walls clad in Western Red Cedar.




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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Music studio on stilts



An interesting design for a Highgate garden office in London from Trew Turner which incorporates a tree in a somewhat surprising way. The apple tree in question could have been taken down but the client and their cat enjoyed it so much that they decided to keep it. The whole building sits on oak posts and is finished with pine weatherboards. Here's what the builders say about it:
"The door was salvaged from a reclaim yard and we are really pleased we did. The unit is fully insulated and also has acoustic plaster-boarding within so that when it's used as a music studio the sound doesn't leak. The flat roof includes two roof-lights making it pleasant inside. The deck outside provides a decent place to sit in the summer months."
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Monday, October 17, 2016

The Anatomy of Sheds: book review


I hope you've got some space left on your shedworking bookshelf because here is another must-have from Jane Field-Lewis, hard on the heels of her excellent My Cool Treehouse earlier this year. Jane has written several excellent, small scale books on shedlike architecture but this is a weightier volume from Pavilion. Subtitled 'New Buildings from an Old Tradition', it features plenty of garden offices as well as other marvels of microarchitecture, around 50 in all, grouped under the headings of Backyard, Contemplative, Holidays, Workspaces, Studios & Workshops, Architectural, and Homes.

Some of these will be familiar to regular readers of Shedworking - such as Paul Smith's garden office - but there are plenty of examples which will be new to even the most hardened shedreader. Each chapter is, as always with Jane, nicely written, but the advantage of the bigger format is that the photos of each build can be given a really decent showing (the endpapers are especially lovely). It would be unfair to call it a coffee table book, but it would happily grace one.  If you bought and enjoyed Cabin Porn, you'll also like this. In fact you'll like it more, because it's better. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Friday, October 14, 2016

Garden office pod in Brighton


A nice build from Green Studios for shedworkers in Brighton with a particularly nice corner window. Here's what they say about it:
"What began as a hobby for our clients soon turned into a business opportunity that needed a clutter free environment to develop and grow. Their combined skills in graphic design, advertising and typography led to a fascination with Digital Paper Engineering i.e. pop up books. This 3D style computer based operation located in Brighton required a clean and simple base to work from to allow creativity to flow. Our clients also wanted to improve their work life balance and decided a separate garden office pod in their Brighton garden would help achieve that goal. It would also allow overnight house guests to relax without having to fight for space."
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dylan Thomas's writing shed's doors


These are the original doors to Dylan Thomas’ writing shed in Laugharne which were unaccountably chucked onto a council rubbish tip from where they were rescued in the 1970s and you can see them - and plenty of other DT memorabilia - in the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea.
Photo courtesy Bald Hiker
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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Eishedfod


Age Cymru and Men's Sheds will be holding their first EiSHEDfod on October 17 at the National Museum of Wales where you can meet fellow shedders and learn new skills in a general celebration of creativity. Workshops and demonstrations will include chainsaw sculptures from Simon Hedger, willow sculptures with Mel Bastier of Out to Learn Willow and Welsh basket making with Les Llewellyn. There is also a free luncy. Look out for the
hashtag #eiSHEDfod on all your usual social media outlets and for more information go to Men's Sheds Cymru.

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Underground garden office



Though not exactly sweeping the nation, there are more underground garden offices than you might imagine. Here's a particularly fine example by Trew Turner and Bea Heslop in Haringey, London (the link has some great images of the building work in progress) where the building is half-buried and the roof used as a garden. It is a blockwork build with a Wayney edge Oak board exterior and here's what the designers say about it all:
"The green roof drains using a modern system and fills a large water butt that can be used via a tap into the Belfast sink. Additional rainwater trickles through the French Drains around the building and works its way into the double sump pump system. The bi-fold doors open to enlarge the space and make for a great work environment when the client is restoring furniture. Rooflights shine into the studio and make sure it's never a gloomy space, despite being part basement."
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Friday, October 07, 2016

Buildingomics: Green offices make you healthier


Though not specifically aimed at shedworkers, recent findings will come as no surprise to those who know the benefits of working in garden offices (especially eco-friendly ones). In general, we know that green buildings help the environment and now a new report indicates that they also contribute to the health and cognitive function of the people within them.

The study from Harvard University and SUNY Upstate Medical University shows that compared to people working in buildings without a green certification, occupants of green-certified ones had:

* A 26.4% higher cognitive function score, with:
* 73% higher crisis response scores
* 44% higher applied activity level scores, which reflect ability to gear decision-making toward overall goals
* 38% higher focused activity level scores, which reflect capacity to pay attention to situations at hand
* 31% higher strategy scores
* 30% fewer sick building symptoms
* A 6.4% higher sleep quality score

This study suggests that there may be an even greater benefit to pursuing green building certification than originally thought. The study also introduces the term “Buildingomics” to capture the science behind the findings, i.e.  how the make-up of a building affects its occupants. --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

National Poetry Day: Brian Bilston on shed envy

There is a gradually growing canon of shed-based poems to which the popular poet Brian Bilston has added a blinder. You can see his latest work on Twitter and buy an excellent selection of his poems which was crowdfunded on Unbound.

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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Koda: Moveable pop-up concrete garden offices



Although arguably more houselike than shedlike, Kodasema's Koda design is also pitched specifically at the garden office market. A freestanding prefab concrete structure designed and built in Estonia, it can be easily dismantled and reassembled, Kodasema claim in only four to seven hours . Its overall footprint is 25 m2.


One of it's selling points is that it is eco-friendly (solar panels), needs only 9 m³ of concrete  and factfans will be interested to know that its thin but well-insulated walls have a U value of 0.1 W/m²K and the quadruple glazing a U value of 0.3 W/m²K.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Ecotoilets sheds



Readers with long memories will remember our 2008 series 'Thursday Outhouses' which took a regular look at the smallest shed in the garden. So we were interested to hear from Richard Saillet at
Ecotoilets which supplies waterless lavatories for use in garden offices and studios. It also supplies lavatories along with a 'shed' (though they call it a cabin) which can be made of wood (smallest model pictured above), synthetic concrete, or moulded plant-based resin. They are already quite widespread in use  in private gardens, allotments, golf clubs, schools, churches, not least because there is no difficulty or expense of putting in a water supply and sewage pipework.

Here's what Ecotoilet say about shedworking:
There is a steadily growing demand for garden rooms and offices. The difficulty comes when you want to install a toilet. The cost of digging up the garden to put in a water supply and a sewage outlet, which may need a pump if the lie of the land isn’t suitable can increase the bill by several thousands of pounds (not counting the cost of the water used). Installing an ecotoilet not only avoids all this expenditure, it also means that a toilet can be installed within a couple of hours.
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Monday, October 03, 2016

Deborah Levy: Shedworker


Deborah Levy, whose latest novel Hot Milk has been very well received and is up for numerous awards this year, has an interesting shedworking arrangement. She works from the Hampstead garden office in the back garden of her friend Celia Mitchell, widow of poet Adrian Mitchell who used to write in there. "It’s freezing in winter and sweltering in summer," she writes in the Guardian, "but I have grown to love my writing shed in every season... Most days I cycle to the shed at 8am after I have seen my daughter off to school."

Here she is inside it, reading from her work An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell.

Deborah Levy AN AMOROUS DISCOURSE IN THE SUBURBS OF HELL from Chameleoneye Films on Vimeo.

According to The White Review, she usually ends her writing day by sharing a glass of rum with Celia.

And here's Alan Vest's illustration of Deborah Levy and her shed which appeared in the Guardian.

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