Scallop shells adorn the rubber-painted exterior of The Pottering Shed, an artist’s studio designed by architectural practice Studio Mutt, overlooking Poole Harbour, England.
Inspired by the design of ships, the 30-square-meter studio’s ceiling structure is designed to evoke an upturned hull, and its black rubber coating is associated with waterproofing.
Pottering Shed was designed by Mutt Studios in Liverpool and London for artist Carola Zogolovich and her husband, developer Roger Zogolovich.
It occupies the site of their 1930s home and is accompanied by a boat-like extension in the northern gardens by Mole Architects.
“The client wanted a space to write, paint, print, collage – what they call a ‘simulation event’ – and provide a visual and climatic connection to the harbour,” said the studio.
“These simulation activities, along with challenging site constraints, also drove the construction and materiality of the design, and the building’s collage-like appearance is the result of an ambition to celebrate the building’s construction,” it continued.
From the site down towards Poole Harbour, a designated site of special scientific interest, Porterling Lodge cantilevers outwards on a thin concrete plinth. This base is connected to a concrete staircase that leads to the main house.
“The building itself is oriented so that it physically appears to be gazing at the pool harbour,” said Studio Mutter.
“This orientation and outlook provided the client with a space to recreate the otherworldly serenity of going out to sea,” added the studio.
On a concrete plinth, plywood panels fabricated off-site have been assembled into cabins with roofs that gently rise towards the sea.
The plywood interior is exposed and the exterior is coated with a layer of scrim and black liquid rubber, decorated with seashells.
Large windows with steel frames offer views of the sea and are painted a contrasting blue to echo the roof tiles of the nearby boat shed.
“A diamond-shaped grid of painted wood slats and rubber painted scallop shells sit on top of the scrim and provide a finish that disrupts the building’s monolithic quality,” explained Studio Mutt.
“At the rear, the sloping geometry of the roof can be manipulated and scaled down, making it smaller in height.”
Inside, exposed partitions of plywood provide shelving and storage for the deliberately simple interior.
Studio Mutt was founded in 2017 by Graham Burn, James Crawford and Alexander Turner. The studio’s projects often feature elements such as a series of sculptures for Sir John Soane’s museum during London Design Festival 2018 and a colourful pavilion in the Lake District National Park.
Photography is by Jim Stephenson.
Architects: Mutter Studio
Executive Architect: Rebecca Granger
Make shape: blue dot design
structure: Roy Gallie, Structure House, Heyne Tillett Steel
Project management: three-dimensional space
Ground Works Contractor: Morris Architecture
Layer Box Manufacturing: Tekne store renovation
assembly: Charlie and Andrew Clifford
painting: Andrew Blackburn