© Agnese Sanvito

By Ergys Peka


By Ergys Peka

Taking inspiration from a humble garden shed, the team have created a series of neighbourhood structures that inhabit the urban landscape of the Southbank Centre. The mother shed will serve hearty British pies to the public with other baby sheds providing spaces to eat, perform and spark conversations about everyday life in the neighbourhood of Southbank.

—Elle and Nese from RIBA London. Featured on the Southbank Centre website. 

Number crunching.

Number crunching.

032 Done


                                             MESSAGE SENT via super-cat!


Tick list:

- Method statement

- Risk Assessment statement

- Costs listings

No not quite but we have finalised our materials and costings. Sent it off to Southbank. Now to continue with ordering our materials and finish structural drawings. It’s slowly coming together but there is still a lot to do. Hopefully things will be delivered on time. 

On our way to a meeting. Blown by the merciless wind, our days of hard labour end in a pile of broken sticks.


On our way to a meeting. Blown by the merciless wind, our days of hard labour end in a pile of broken sticks.

031 Number crunching


While studying architecture, our non fellow friends would ask, “Isn’t there a lot of physics and mathematics involved in architecture?”

My general response would be “No, not in the degree as it is more design orientated.”

Who was I kidding?! Having barely touched a single mathematical sum through the whole part 1 course, the tables has turned on us into number crunching through financial spreadsheets and exact building dimensions for material procurement.

To cut down our budget we had to:  

- reduce material wastage.

- ensure the final 25% contingency for potential price increase in materials.

- change the dimensions of our designs to cater existing standardised dimensions of materials to prevent money and material wastage.

So not only is an ‘architect’, a modeller, a computer savy geek, a drawer, an artist, a photographer, we are also procurement specialists. 

Having met the structural engineer to get structural calculations approved and to check if our drawings are correct. We are pleased that most of the structural drawings near completion!



Written by Elle Phan and Michelle Ho

030 Adding and subtracting?

Going through the structural drawings with Rory, we realised there were missing information to how the whole structures would be waterproof

- how was the living room shed’s openings waterproof? 

-  how are we going to stop rain from going through the gaps when the structure is shut


After taking away the 4th shed over the snake we decided to ‘reintroduce’ into the plan because of the rearrangement of mother shed. This also meant that the sign post will be removed but definitely worth the price to portray our concept clearer. 

The whole design proposal is becoming a bit like snakes and ladders at this rate…


029 Disaster

Coming back from a semi relaxed long weekend. The sun shined brightly whilst we sat inside drawing up the structural details and specification for the 3 shreds. Communicating through the weekend with Southbank and between ourselves we came across a few problems.

Firstly the arrangement of the sheds had to be changed to a position up against the Hayward Gallery’s wall.

The new location requires a removal of a sign post which will cost us.  This meant that our second option of where to place the mothershed had to be changed again because it was just too expensive. After consideration of where to place it we found ourselves to be lost because the meaning behind our concept was slowly being lost. 

Having met with the engineer again, we were allowed to avoid using expensive steel beams. Although our structural does need more bracing. 

In talks with Southbank through emails there were a lot of difficulties we encountered, however it is our job to think quickly for new solutions. Our biggest problem to date is still the layout of the sheds.

Written by Elle Phan and Michelle Ho 

construction programme

construction programme

028 A fiasco then some reassurance

After yesterday’s trouble with finding a suitable CNC cutters and shed builders, we are now finally back on track. After a few phone calls last night, we managed to solve our prefabrication and contractor problems by using our personal connections. Ergys’ cousins are highly skilled carpenters from Albania, who have been building extensions, roof conversions and  summer houses. ROC  visited us today to discuss the structure and construction of the sheds. 


We managed to get a rough time schedule of when the structures were going up. They helped us resolved some of the issues with keeping the load of the living room shed roof and the possible materials that we could use to clad the outside the shed. 

After their help, it was reassuring to know that we were not completely off target. It is all possible to build these shed structures in 10 days with no problems.

Using the knowledge we drafted a grantt chart for the construction program, conducted a risk assessment and a method of works for the Waterloo Bridge Viaduct workshop. At the meeting at Southbank Centre we presented a series of costings for each shed. Although some amendments need to be made, the Southbank team were really happy for the proposal to go ahead with the complete set of drawings and updated construction programme to be sent on Tuesday.image






At the client meeting, the main points for our structures were:

  • change the placement of the mother shed.
  • a written contract with ROC. Signed and dated.
  • No angle brackets to steel beams.
  • Steel beams can be cut down to 3m for easy transportation.
  • Change hinges to sturdier ones on the living room shed. 
  • Plywood sheet thickness to 18mm thick for fire safety. 
  • Use galvanised steel on the snake hut, if not fixed to OSB board.
  • Canvas fabric need to be fireproof.
  • Phrasing stage stage of construction. 
  • Redo budget breakdown for Johnathan with additional cost for steel and foundations. 
  •  Add contingency of 20- 25% on top of final budget.
  • Draw up assembly/junction details and other drawings (axo etc.) 
  • Arrange meeting with engineer (Keep in mind engineer must sign off the structures prior to 31st May).

Written by Elle Phan and Michelle Ho

027 Deflated

As the team tried to absorb the feedback from yesterday’s meetings. We were now uncertain wether we can build on time.

We asked ourselves if we were realistic with the 10 day time frame?

Yes, we think it can be done.

Despite our optimism, the client do not seem to share the same belief. We questioned whether we are just too unrealistic.

Today was filled with searching for CNC cutters and possible constructors for the sheds. If we can get them all prefabricated and cut to size before we go on site that would save us a lot of time. However, much of today’s response was similar to our clients’ view.

No matter how eager we are to build this design, no one seems to  share our belief that we can build the whole proposal in ten day, until we can connivence our client for the technical sign off, the quicker we can move ahead. It is a very frustration period to have gone through the stages to receive no go ahead by the client.


Our future vision of the build on outside Hayward Gallery.

Written by Elle Phan

026 Stomped

Things have run a lot smoother this time with the planning the presentation sheets. Our previous presentation experience from the last meetings has help us present to clients.


Southbank team discussing the structural details and budget. 

Despite our best efforts with the preparation this time round, the clients were not convinced that we could build the whole design proposal in just ten days on site. Although we are convinced ourselves, we had no proof to back up our statement.  At this point, we had yet to source a contractor because we felt we could build the whole lot ourselves. For these reasons, the client refused to sign off the proposal and told us to meet again on Friday.


Mark Whitby and the team in a structural engineering consultation.

After the client meet, we met up with Mark Whity for a structural engineering consultation. He examined each structure and told us how each one will be made and its foundations. He too was unconvinced we can built the whole structure in 10 tens days. 

It is times like these, we have to believe we can do it within the time frame.

Written by Elle Phan and Michelle Ho.

025 31 days to go

With planning permission granted for the new proposal, we now only a day before the technical sign off for our structural drawings.

Alex and Rory came to visit us in the morning to discuss the meeting tomorrow.  It was clear that we still had a quite a lot bit to do in the next 24 hours. Not just for the presentation tomorrow, but also the technical drawings. Although we have sections, elevations and plans, the detail drawings are yet to be done, which meant although we kind of know how the structures are main, it is not 100% confirmed.

Our plan is to have 4 sheds to built in 10 days with a team of 6 (some of us have knowledge in building, others not so much). Prior to construction, we also need to plan out when we to order in materials on site and the transportation logistics. With only 31 day till the final build, there is plenty do to in our time scale. Our worry is, can we achieve all this and make it incredible?

'Yes' is the positive attitude we need right now!

Considering the last meeting with the clients was a little rushed, we hope tomorrow’s meeting led by Dominik and Sas will run more smoothly. 

Written by Elle Phan and Michelle Ho