groves raines architects: garden compost shed
groves raines architects: garden compost shed groves raines architects: garden compost shed
may 06, 2010

groves raines architects: garden compost shed

garden composting shed by groves-raines architects all images courtesy groves-raines architects

a garden composting shed in scotland, designed by nicholas groves-raines of groves-raines architects (GRA). has won an american institute of architects (AIA) excellence in design award for 2010.

detail of the woven bars

conceived as an extension to the garden at inverleith terrace, edinburgh (a detached house remodelled by GRA in 2003) the organic form embraces a 5 tonne boulder and provides a point of interest to both garden visitors and walkers alike on the adjacent water of leith walkway to the north. 

the structure which serves as a composting area and garden store is made entirely from industrial concrete reinforcing bar and is constructed using a technique similar to traditional willow weaving. it rises from the ground flowing upwards from the path edges, also constructed from woven re-bar. the construction method minimises any impact on the ground and surrounding mature woodland as the vertical reinforcing rods are driven straight into the ground rather than using traditional foundations. air and sunlight pass naturally through the structure providing ventilation for composting while creating light patterns which change constantly throughout the day. 

a full view of the garden composting shed

the green roof is made from EPDM (rubber) lined steel and planted with soft grass which further strengthens the connection with the wooded context.


detail from the inside

the tubes weaved together

first stage of construction – tubes are bent around poles

tubes being shaped

the structure is put in to place

axonometric view


axonometric view

floor plan

west elevation

site plan

initial sketch of composting shed

initial sketch of composting shed

  • Strong sculptural result but less clear here about the functional compost or shed areas. Inspirational even so.

    mr says:
  • Agree with mr. Great working concept, if there’s an opening at the base somewhere to actually remove the compost d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • how does the composing part work?

    Lady Amie says:
  • photos by Dan Farrar,

    grastudio says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
482,804 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
privacy policy