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A Secluded Writer’s Hut Masquerading As Part Of The Garden

Architecture

It’s every writer’s dream to retreat to a secluded hut in the woods to write, but most of us seldom get the chance to do so. Even fewer get to do it in the suburbs.

This idyllic, Boston ivy-blanketed refuge by Matt Gibson Architecture lives out this secluded writer’s shed fantasy, nestled in the back corner of a residential garden in Melbourne’s East.

21st February, 2020

Simple ply cladding boxes the interior. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

A mirrored door conceals the rear entry to the bluestone lane at the exterior of the property. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The framed window provides a portal overlooking the verdant garden. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

A library sits alongside more standard shed fare: tools. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Lush Boston ivy blankets the exterior of the shed. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 21st February 2020

Who’d have thought suburban Melbourne would be the setting for this modern-day Walden? The isolated workspace was constructed as an at-home studio for a creative writer, ‘an antidote to balance the overstimulating, populous’ and hyperconnected workplaces that dominate modern life.

The simply clad ply box was camouflaged with lush greenery by landscape designer Ben Scott as part of the intention for the shed to exist as ‘a living part of the garden rather than an imposition on it,’ explains principal architect Matt Gibson.

The ten square metre space was intentionally sized to classify as a non-habitable building (usually reserved for garages, sheds and carports) to allow for economical building and planning methods. The result was a simple, low-tech, modestly-priced and modestly-constructed outbuilding, with a framed window providing a viewing portal to overlook the garden. A concrete slab supports the engineered timber flooring, while rolled Butnyol on the exterior seal acts as a wetsuit-like slick for insulation and waterproofing.

The shed is a rejection of the rigid and soulless offices that freelancers and workers often inhabit, offering a soothing environment to generate ideas and stimulate creativity instead.

‘As a detached and flexible workspace the Writer’s Shed provides an intimate private space to recoup, reflect and recharge the imagination.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

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