Writer’s Shed

Text description provided by the architects. Camouflaged and nestled into a modest residential garden, the Writers Shed provides an isolated workspace for a creative writer. The outbuilding sits in the seldom utilised back corner of the block, located in a quiet, leafy residential suburb in Melbourne’s South East. Masquerading itself amongst the garden landscape and boundary fences the shed is one with the landscape – a living part of the garden rather than an imposition on it. The successful coverage of Boston Ivy, accompanied by a collection of lush, verdant plantings was developed in collaboration with Landscape Garden Designer Ben Scott. Stepping inside, a generous and simple ply clad workspace reveals itself, with a framed window looking back to the garden. A mirrored doorway opens out to the rear bluestone laneway providing an option for deliveries and access. Sitting inside at the desk there’s a certain inherent delight in bunkering down to look out to the garden and house beyond.

© Shannon McGrath

© Shannon McGrath
 

Elevation and section

Elevation and section
 

 

The ten square meter space was sized to fall into a Class 10a structure, allowing economical building and planning methods and a rather simple, low-tech, modestly-priced, and modestly-constructed solution. A concrete slab supports engineered timber flooring, ply clad stud walls, sealed on the exterior with a rolled Butynol ‘wet-suit’ that both insulates and waterproofs. As the ways, we work and life continues to adapt and change to our environment and technology, traditional notions are challenged and new opportunities appear. An antidote is often needed to balance the overstimulating, populous, and constantly-contactable workplaces where we spend much of our modern lives. More people are opting to work from a variety of locations, sometimes rejecting the rigid and sealed open-plan office for the benefits of more natural surroundings.

© Shannon McGrath

© Shannon McGrath
 

Plan

Plan
 

 

As a detached and flexible workspace, the Writer’s Shed provides an intimate private space to recoup, reflect, and recharge the imagination. Summary: Camouflaged and nestled into a modest residential garden, the Writers Shed provides an isolated workspace for a creative writer. The outbuilding sits in the seldom utilised back corner of the block, located in a leafy residential suburb in Melbourne’s South East. Masquerading itself amongst the garden landscape and boundary fences, the shed is one with the landscape – a living part of the garden rather than an imposition on it. The successful coverage of Boston Ivy, accompanied by a collection of lush, verdant plantings surrounds the ten square meter space. Stepping inside, a generous and simple workspace reveals itself, with a framed window looking back to the garden.

© Shannon McGrath

© Shannon McGrath
 

 

Sitting inside at the desk there’s a certain inherent delight in bunkering down to look out to the garden and house beyond. As a detached and flexible workspace, the Writer’s Shed provides an intimate private space to recoup, reflect, and recharge the imagination. Sustainability Statement: The Writer’s shed uses passive techniques of site orientation and cross-ventilation, reducing the need for mechanical heating and cooling. The walls and ceiling cavities are well insulated, while glazing is double-glazed Low-E glass.

© Shannon McGrath

© Shannon McGrath
 

 

Sustainable materials have been used – the interior is entirely clad in renewable and sustainable plantation-sourced Hoop Pine plywood panels (AFS and FSC Certified). The lightweight, non-toxic, Butynol rubber membrane has excellent thermal properties, additionally aided by the dense growth of the Boston Ivy, providing the shed with self-shading properties. The design maximises the utilisation of the site and especially the engagement with garden aspects. The specific placement of the skylight, window, and glazed door brings a refined and considered quality of light and ambiance to the compact space.

© Shannon McGrath

© Shannon McGrath
 

This article was first published in Arch Daily and is republished with permission.

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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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