Ecclesall Woods Container Retreat

Sheffield School of Architecture Live Project, Sheffield, 2011


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Viewing port 

Tom Harden     Download Original

  • Viewing port    
  • Front elevation    
  • Northern elevation    
  • View from bank behind    
  • View from the edge of the woods    
  • Cladding    
  • View from visitor car park    
  • View of sheltered hide    
  • View from near outdoor classroom    
  • View across bridge    
  • Inside the hide    
  • Bench    
  • View back towards outdoor classroom    
  • Cladding principle    
  • Internal cladding principle    
  • Bridge construction    
  • Roof structure    
  • Development    
  • Early axonometric    
  • Conceptual model    

Children's woodland hide and bridge

One of Sheffield School of Architecture’s Live Project groups was asked to create a design language that could improve the appearance
f the shipping containers used for storing tools and educational materials at the Ecclesall Woods Sawmill site.

One container is near an outdoor classroom used by scout and school groups. The client wished to create a space on top of this container for teaching children about the ancient woodland, close to the tree canopy.

The retreat has been designed to help promote the innovative and sustainable use of timber. The structure was designed and built by the Live Project team from locally sourced timber, much of it from the woods themselves.


  • Begun: Oct 2011
  • Completed: Nov 2011
  • Floor area: 14m2
  • Sectors: Education, Public realm
  • Total cost: £1,150
  • Address: Ecclesall Woods Sawmill, Abbey Lane, Sheffield, S7 2QZ, United Kingdom