23.01.2015 Simon Kramer

On the wish list: A garden shed

Photo: Petr Krejci

In reply to the question "What have you always wanted for your home?", the designer Paul Smith answered, "A garden shed!". And now he has implemented his idea of a retreat in the landscape in collaboration with the furniture maker Nathalie de Leval.

Architets: Paul Smith and Nathalie de Leval, London
Temporary installation: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
In the »The Wish List« project initiated by Benchmark Furniture and the American Hardwood Export Council, this question was examined by ten leading designers in collaboration with ten emerging ones. The results were put on show at the 2014 London Design Festival in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Designed for a footprint of three by three metres and in keeping with a low-tech approach, Paul Smith's shed was to be realised as simply as possible and using few materials only.  In accordance with the requirement to use American hardwood it is crafted out of thermally modified ash, made weather-proof and lent a dark brown hue in the heat treatment. The weatherboarding is rough-sawn to reinforce associations with a simple garden hut. 
A steel profile in the form of a door striking plate painted bright yellow provides a colourful accent and is part of a closing mechanism involving magnets in the door. The shed is mounted on a revolving  platform to ensure ideal alignment to the surroundings and the position of the sun. Plus one of the gable sides is completely glazed for unobstructed views of nature. 
Project data

  American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)
Initiator: Sir Terence Conran, Benchmark Furniture
Structural engineering: Arup
Timber: Morgan Timber and Northland Forest Products More details about the project are published in DETAIL 12/2014 Simple Forms of Construction. Further informationen
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