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Recycled Shed / Artans Hotel

  • Sheddie:

    Will Howard
  • Location:

    Back garden of a 1-bed flat in south London - Greater London
  • First entered:


Our shed is self-built constructed from a mixture of low-cost, low-carbon and recycled materials. This self-initiated mini-building was conceived as a working from home space, a lock-down project and providing room to grow for a small family living in a 1-bedroom apartment.

In response to the ‘new normal’ of home working, the project provides working space with just enough separation from home. We considered engaging a local contractor or specialist company to build a garden room, however we were soon disheartened by both the limited design options available and the high costs, exacerbated by material supply and labour shortages.

As a result, a bespoke self-build was explored, tailored in an ad-hoc way, responding to materials available during lockdown at a local building merchant. The shed is almost entirely built from wood, finished with black cuprinol. with recycled glazing from a Victorian bay window, recently upgraded by a family member. The low build-cost was also achieved by using corrugated bitumen cladding, a cost-efficient material which also creates an interesting play of shadows from the surrounding wooden framing on the façade.

A brickwork path was laid to reach the room, using up a backlog of brick samples gathered over many years. Not only was space saved in the material library, but these samples were used rather than ending up in landfill.

The shed is sits in a shared outdoor space and overlooks our neighbours’ well-tended and characterful garden. Inside, there is space for a composting toilet, off-grid water storage and sink, comfortable seating, a spacious desk, and various other belongings. The design is humble and simple but represents a dramatic change in our quality of life especially now that so much time is spent at home.

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