Chung Tyson Connah, Manchester, 2018


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Chung Tyson Connah     Download Original

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STITCH Garden Studio is in Manchester.

STITCH was designed and built by architect-makers, Chung Tyson Connah, over three months in the summer of 2018. The new studio occupies the full width rear garden of a 1960’s mid terrace and provides self-contained space that makes visible the overlapping ‘at home’ work patterns of a Senior Lecturer of Fashion and Professor of Urban Design. Under the constraints of permitted development, budget and time frame the project balances offsite prefabrication techniques, bespoke material details and onsite assembly.

STITCH was largely designed and made in the workshop and involved a process that toggled between the making of shop drawings and 1:1 material prototypes whilst being mindful of on-site building constraints — all elements were carried through the house and constructed in sequence.

Material Detail Fibre cement panels cloak the studio in a horizontal overlap detail and are hand-printed using lichen-coloured mineral paint in a pattern derived from sewing machine stitches. The semi-porous material absorbs and releases the temporary pattern of rainfall, highlights the stitch pattern when wet and serves as a protective backdrop activated by dappled light and shade.

Hand formed galvanised herringbone struts tie the planed softwood rafters that support a sedum roof and suspended panels over individual work niches and central cutting table — a simple space to accommodate the craft of pattern making, sewing and academic writing.

The wood fibre insulated timber frame and birch plywood lined interior adds a warm but useful depth for bespoke joinery such as full-height shelving, bulletin pinboard and pegboard to display sewing equipment as beautiful artefacts. The rear wall with clerestory window offers high-level views to mature trees, the setting sun and incorporates a secret door leading to a garden hide away: ideal for small people and pets.


  • Begun: Jul 2018
  • Completed: Sep 2018
  • Floor area: 15m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £30,000
  • Funding: Private Client
  • Tender date: Jun 2018
  • Procurement: Letter of Engagement
  • Address: Manchester, United Kingdom