The Great British Shed Rebooted: MakerSheds!

They sit in most gardens or allotments, but now the great British shed has been cleared of rusty lawnmowers and neglected tins of varnish and given a spectacular reboot by architects for The National Festival of Making! The two MakerSheds will be sited on the new Cathedral Square, directly opposite Blackburn Train Station.

Emerging architects were invited to reinvent the shed by creative placemaking social enterprise, Placeshakers. The challenge was to consider the fabrication and construction process and also how a maker would use the space during the festival and its future use beyond the festival weekend. Architects from the new, Manchester office of Hawkins\Brown and Lancashire’s Studio John Bridge drew on social histories, the environment and the need for robust, functional layouts in their proposals.

The sheds will be home to resident makers during the two day festival, inviting the public inside to interact with their practice and see finished pieces of work. A team of four young architectural designers at the Manchester Studio of Hawkins\Brown has created a home for Central St. Martins College graduates, Joshua Beaty and Phoebe Kime , which draws heavily on textile industry processes, materials and Lancashire’s cotton-weaving history. In providing an innovative, contemporary, ‘draw bridge’ structure for artist, Stella Boothman, John Bridge employs a distinctive, trapezoidal form in an economical and striking use of limited space and available materials.

Claire Tymon, Co-Founder of Placeshakers and The National Festival of Making, said: “MakerSheds and the responses of Hawkins\Brown and John Bridge encapsulates everything we find exciting about working with the emerging maker community. We pursue projects in urban design and the built environment to promote the act of making and The National Festival of Making gave us the perfect opportunity to launch the idea of completely reinventing the concept of a temporary, functional wooden building – the ‘shed’.”

MakerSheds are sponsored by James Latham, Graham & BrownBarnfield Construction, Countrywide Properties and the Perspex® Brand and fabricated at The Making Rooms, Blackburn and form a core part of the programme for the first ever National Festival of Making.

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12th - 13th May 2018 | Blackburn, Lancashire

The National Festival of Making Delivery Team


The National Festival of Making is supported with funding from Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Heritage Lottery Fund