the potting shed by peckham-based grey griffiths architects is designed to meet the needs of a ceramicist in walthamstow, east london. situated in the client’s garden, the challenge was to create a generous sized studio that did not damage mature planting or feel overwhelming in a moderate sized plot.

the ex-display timber aluminium composite doors open up to reveal the warm plywood interior
all images © adam scott



the additional complication of a particularly tight budget meant an inventive use of materials was required. the grey griffiths architects’ response was to create a studio with two set-back enclaves — the first to envelop the mature apple tree and a second to reveal the extent of the garden and provide storage. constructed tightly against far boundaries, the potting shed fits onto underutilised space leaving the existing garden intact.

a generous fixed window gives views onto the garden from internal desk space



the new 18 sqm building is divided into designated areas for making, relaxing and working. budget constraints gave the project an unexpected advantage. the project team reached out to manufacturers and suppliers to find out if any waste material could be used for the studio. this research revealed that with some design flexibility high-quality materials could be afforded throughout.

the depth of the garden is revealed with a set-back tool and log storage facility



off-cut external-grade birch plywood is used for interior and exterior cladding and ex-display bi-folding doors complete the front façade. all this was destined as waste. a functional concrete workshop floor contrasts with the warmth of the interior joinery which leaves the plywood exposed in a smooth, uniform patchwork finish. a discrete hidden side-door gives easy access to outdoor storage. the result is an inviting, practical ceramic studio created on a budget.

the potting shed at the dusk

off-cut external-grade birch plywood is used for interior and exterior cladding giving a smooth patchwork finish

peg boards display the most used garden tools and within easy reach


the potting shed highlights the waste left over from sizeable construction projects


project info:


client: black shed ceramics

architect: grey griffiths architects

contractor: omniscient homes

plywood: specialised panel products

windows/doors: senior architectural systems

photography: adam scott


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