Maria-Chiara Piccinelli Leads the WORKSHOP: A Shed at Shatwell Farm

WORKSHOP: A Shed at Shatwell Farm

A Shed at Shatwell Farm is a collaborative workshop in which participants are invited to reimagine and construct the ‘Tool Shed’, an original design by James Gowan (1923–2015), at Shatwell Farm in Somerset, the home of Drawing Matter and the Drawing Matter Collection. The workshop will be led by Maria-Chiara Piccinelli of and Corinna Dean of ARCA.


Gowan designed the tool shed as his own contribution to a student project when teaching in the early 1970s. The original drawing was found last year in Gowan’s archive, which was donated to Drawing Matter by his family in 2015. During the workshop, participants will redesign the shed using contemporary materials and select an appropriate site within the field of existing architectural interventions at Shatwell. The structure will have a new use as a writing retreat for visiting scholars to the Drawing Matter Collection.

Maria-Chiara writes about the initiative: I’m very excited about the possibility of this project: we will approach architecture as an ecosystem, a community of interacting organisms, introducing new elements into Gowan’s architecture like rainwater, animals, plants, soil.

The workshop will be an opportunity to integrate natural elements and living things into a small architecture, building a space of encounter between species of different natures and a place of enjoyment, desire and contemplation.


8 May 2021: All-day online studio to explore materials and construction techniques

12 June 2021: All-day in-person studio at Shatwell Farm on siting and construction logistics (Covid-19 restrictions permitting)

12–17 July 2021: All participants will gather in Somerset to construct the shed. The topping-off will be celebrated on the evening of Saturday 17 July.

A programme of evening talks, and seminars by invited scholars and architects, will accompany the workshop. The on-site workshop will be catered by Lucas Hollweg and Lucie Reader (On the Spoon) – they will also run a bread-making workshop during the construction week in July.