Shed — London

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There was a time that when dad said he was “popping to the shed” we were talking about a rickety wooden structure down the allotment. The Shed — London’s latest members’ club — could not be further away from this image of yore.

The hardworking men and women of London’s ‘Square Mile’ business district are rushing to join the new club that offers its overworked members rooms to grab some sleep and de-stress when they need respite from the grind of the trading floor.

Shed, the brainchild of a couple of ex-merchant bankers, offers all the frills of a modern private members club with the additional benefit of their Zzed Sheds — two private spaces where members can check in for some zzz’s, do some private work or spend time alone de-stressing and listening to music. A shower room allows for speedy freshening up before or after work.

Designed by architects Eldridge Smerin, the Shed is an unashamedly contemporary environment. The early 20th century building has been stripped back to reveal the concrete columns and beams of its structure.

The ground floor reception area with its acid green gloss-lacquered desk leads into the Drawing Room. Finished in polished hardwood blocks salvaged from the original interior, this is furnished with a mix of modern sofas and armchairs.

Beyond the Drawing Room are the first of the distinctive shed structures. A series of tall lacquer-finished cruciform walls with a curved birch plywood screen around create a series of individual spaces. Two of the spaces are fitted out as the aforementioned Zzed Sheds — complete with leather upholstered adjustable daybed, flexible lighting and network connections. In a similar vein the members’ WC on this floor is finished in the corrugated metal cladding of the allotment tool shed.

The lower floor houses the Dining Shed, which is formed by an interlocking grid of triangular birch plywood panels that echoes both the club’s graphic identity as well as the vaulted structure of the agricultural shed.

Beyond the Dining Shed a continuous screen of birch plywood shelving houses the club’s library. Punctuated with lighting, the full-height shelving creates a strong backdrop running the length of the club interior. As with the upper floor, members’ WCs on the lower floor have a distinct character and are clad in panels of the coarse grained shuttering plywood of the potting shed.

The two floors of the club are linked by a new concrete staircase. An existing external wall onto the rear light well has been removed and a glazed bay introduced with reflective glass floor and soffit panels to both bounce light into the club interior and terminate the axis of the stair with a strong visual feature. A new fin wall runs from inside to out and forms a backdrop to a hardwood seating deck in the well, which, with planting around it, becomes a tranquil outdoor room and presents itself as a another members’ retreat.

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