The Shed

Sam Diston, Truro, 2012


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The 'Shed' in it's summer arrangement with canvas canopy forming solar shade 

Sam Diston     Download Original

  • The     
  • The project sits on a mound (existing) at the end of a terraced garden, overlooked from the left by another terraced street    
  • Closer view of summer arrangement which extends the interior onto the deck.  This creates room for a dining table for family meals    
  • The timber was specially milled to form the vertical shadow gaps    
  • The cotton canopy is held in tension above the doors when open, and wound up and hung in the     
  • Interior panorama showing relationship between     
  • The strong summer light is mediated by the canopy.  The east window gives views towards the cathedral through the bushes    
  • A collection of artifacts found during the construction of the foundations    
  • Hardboard has been placed with the rough side outwards to add texture.  The boards were cut with a Stanley knife to fit between the frames, painted and are then held in place with brass cup hooks    
  • The vertical timber cladding took inspiration from nearby garden fences to blend the design into it    
  • The     
  • The project encloses the garden from the street to create a more private space    
  • Site plan    
  • Site section    
  • Exploded isonometric.  The project was intensionally simple given that only one jigsaw and one drill were available for the construction    
  • Sectional perspective    
  • Environmental strategy    
  • Construction detail showing wall, window and canopy construction    

A garden room/studio space which expands and contracts with climate and the user needs.

Located in a Victorian end-of-terrace back garden in Cornwall ‘The Shed’ was a family project designed and built by Sam Diston, a 21 year old who is an architecture and engineering student at UoN.

‘The Shed’ developed from the needs of a family to enclose their back garden from being overlooked by the street parallel to the garden. The design quickly developed into a seasonally varying structure which expands and contracts with use and climate. The cubic form of the building was developed as a result of the minimal space for the project (site area of 6.5m2) and the need to be easily built by only two people with limited tools.

The external cladding of vertical timber was specially milled to create the shadow gaps between the vertical boards, whilst referencing nearby garden fences. Materials used internally were chosen for their textural qualities such as hardboard ‘backwards’, which was held between the frames by standard brass cup hooks.


  • Begun: May 2012
  • Completed: Sep 2012
  • Floor area: 6m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £1,800
  • Funding: Client
  • Address: 23 Harrison Terrace, Truro, TR1 3EN, United Kingdom

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