Friday, 08 February 2013 11:16
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) worked for the last 20 years of his life in a seemingly unremarkably hut out the back of his property in Hertfordshire. Not wanting to out do the neighbours, Shaw kept the hut simple.. electricity for a telephone and buzzer system, table and chair to write on and no light. Yes, no light. You see the remarkable feature of this back shed was that it was built on a turntable, which enabled Shaw to push it to follow the sun. As Greg Denisiuk highlights, this design enabled:
1. George to write in his hut without having to use an artificial light source. He would just get up (which was a good and healthy thing to do anyway) and give the hut a little turn towards the light.
2. It limited the windows needed for direct light to enter the space. This is important in cold weather. More glass in the cold months made for a cooler working space. By limiting windows to one side of the shed (with only one other window opposite the door) made it possible to work in the hut even in cooler months.
3.The direct sunlight entering the hut created passive solar heating within. Limiting the windows to the one side facing the sun also reduced the amount of heat loss.
4. Last but not least, Bernard was able to pivot the hut in the summer to create a shaded space (passive shading) whenever he desired to do so. Opening the only operable window opposite the open door created natural ventilation.
My favourite shed or 'hut' out of this lot is picture three. I'm still trying to find out who the architect is, but it's in San Fransisco if anyone else knows?!