Shape Architecture has built many community projects in London and throughout the South East. We have a wide based experience of working with diverse community groups and pride ourselves on our ability to listen and communicate clearly. EcoShed 02 in Hammersmith was commissioned by the Hammersmith and Community Gardens Association, who had previously worked with our director, Jason Wren, on EcoShed 01. The brief asked for a demonstrably sustainable building which would be sited in Godolphin Park. This was a much more public setting than at the previous EcoShed and demanded a different approach.
As with EcoShed 01 this project sought to create a sustainable building. The contractor, Ecolibrium Solutions, is based in Kent and it was decided to minimise travel to and from site that the building would largely be pre-fabricated in their works and ‘delivered’ to site. On this basis the foundations were cast and a series of railway tracks set across the park awaiting the delivery of the building. On the allotted day EcoShed 02 arrived and was craned over the parks perimeter trays onto the tracks and pushed along and onto its foundations. This was an exciting day for the local community and all involved in the project.
The desire to minimise waste on the project and reduce material leaving site had an impact on the architecture. Given that the park was formed out of bomb damage it was understood that as soon as we started digging the foundations we would encounter rubble from turned over basements. It was therefore decided to form a rubble roof to EcoShed 02 and keep the rubble on site. This was also of interest as EcoShed 01 had a sedum roof, and there was a desire amongst all to expand and improve upon issues explored in EcoShed 01. It also had the advantage that being overlooked by many flats the roof elevation would employ the local brick and that over time the brown roof will turn green as seeds are dropped over it. Set within the rubble roof is a circular rooflight whose smooth white plinth sits in contrast to the Rubble around it.
The Building Form
The EcoShed is characterized by its raking monopitch rubble roof. The roof over sails the plan of the building below and creates a sheltered sitting area. The building and its landscape is defined by a high quality steel fence. This provides security for the project and with planting at its base it will become greener over time in similar fashion to the rubble roof. The building is clad in horizontal Siberian larch cladding. A mix of reclaimed timber, plywood and corrugated roofing form a space for the storage of gardening materials and evokes the haphazard design of allotment structures.
The Building Interior
Inside the building the same series of spaces are created as at EcoShed 01, being a meeting space with kitchenette and a disabled WC. The meeting room is a light and bright space and spills out onto the timber verandah. The roof light in the rubble roof above provides an excellent amount of daylight. The kitchenette is made up from recycled materials and the vinyl flooring also is recycled.