Designing The Chichester Shed – A Space for Restoration


One of the projects we're currently working on with our client, Chichester Community Development Trust is The Chichester Shed, "a space for making and mending, a retreat and respite, where people can come together to share the love of restoration, through knowledge and laughter." 

The Shed is all about supporting mental and physical health, championed by theChichester Community Development Trust (CCDT), whose aim is to empower people by developing skills and supporting projects that create local opportunities, employment and build community spirit. The impact of Covid-19 on many people in the community has been huge on mental health and the need for community support and although this project was first proposed back in 2018, it is even more relevant today than it was then.

This is just one of the projects we are working on wit CCDT and is its design development is led by Karolina Stephenson.

CCDT owns and manages community buildings and land, safe-guarding these important spaces for the community, and reinvesting profits to create long-term economic, social and environmental benefits.  

Working closely with the client as well as members of the community, the design is being guided by Karo, to convey the wishes and needs of the people who will be using the space.

Following a fundraising campaign and local council funding, the plans are currently being considered by Chichester District Council and the project is gaining momentum, with a huge amount of community support.  

The proposed plans seek to construct a community building converted from shipping containers, situated adjacent to the community allotment on the north-west corner of Keepers Green, an area that also features a cricket pitch and pavilion.

The building is proposed to house 33 square metres of workshop space and 10 square metres of social space with w/c, tea making facilities and seating area, with the aim of creating a workshop and social space for local people to work on projects they would not otherwise have the space for in their own homes and to socialise.

The Design

The building is shown as a pair of shipping containers set side-by-side and slightly off-set, clad in a mix of horizontal and vertical weather boarding, some natural and some dark stained under a felt covered pitched roof, with large windows at either end for natural light and PV panels to generate electricity.


To the north elevation a smaller container is proposed to create an external toilet and to the south an area of external storage, both flat roofed and clad in dark stained timber.

A covered timber walkway is proposed to the west and north elevations, providing an element of shelter to the entrance and external toilet facilities.

"I'm really enjoying being part of this amazing project, said Karo Stephenson."While I love designing clients' dream homes or pioneering business developments, working on a community-centric project is extra special.   Architecture can affect the way we live, our mood and our behaviour, so to be able to positively impact all those three aspects of people’s lives is really satisfying and brings with it a great sense of pride and a determination to make this project the best it can be. I really hope we will be able to see the realisation of this wonderful scheme very soon.”


Depending on funding and planning approval, we hope The Shed could be built and launched by 2023.

Find out more at the Chichester Community Development Trust website, here:

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