Wingate studio, Cambridge, 2011

Wingate is a small studio for ceramicist Helen Howard, located in a garden site on the outskirts of Cambridge. Helen works both on large scale paper and ceramic, firing her work in an external kiln and using raku glazing. The combined need for an overhanging roof to protect the raku process from rain) and for light into the studio gave rise to the twisting roof. The timber joisted roof tips up to welcome the visitor at one end, and let light in from the opposite side at the other. The high clerestory windows diffuse the light and filters it evenly through the space.

The timber frame building is clad in phenolic plywood (usually used in concrete shuttering), with sliding/folding doors opening the studio space to the garden. The clerestory windows are made using translucent five wall insulated polycarbonate sheet, and the roof is covered in sedum. Internally the studio is lined in plywood timber, with walls of painted pinboard. The building was thought of as a conker, with a polished dark outer skin, and the inside full of warmth.

photography: David Butler