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Sheds of all shapes, sizes and styles are once again featured in this year's Channel 4 Shed Of The Year competition, Nathan James Dodd reviews the categories and finalists.
Part of the Amazing Spaces series, Shed Of The Year has become a highly popular challenge for everyone with an interest in creating extraordinary sheds with impressive ingenuity and imagination.
There are eight categories to be shown over four weekly episodes: Unique and Historic, Eco and Unexpected, Pub and Workshop, Budget and Summerhouse.
'Sheddies' from all over the country will be showing off their spectacular designs, some weird, others wacky but mostly wonderful creations from enthusiasts who have taken one step beyond the traditional idea of a garden shed.
The shortlist includes a motorised shed, shed village, a giant teapot and many others variously described as an architectural wonder or stunningly beautiful. One even includes live crocodiles.
With entries referencing the wild west to Star Wars, a haunted chapel to a Anglo-Saxon longhouse, there'll be plenty of inspiration for viewers who want to think outside the box or, in this case, the shed.
No longer just for storing garden tools, it's obvious now that the shed has become a valuable outdoor living space, a resource that can have many practical as well as unusual uses.
Amazing Spaces: Shed Of The Year is on Channel 4 at 8.00pm starting on Friday 29 July.
Fending off stiff competition from amongst others, a recreation of a village smithy, a rotating shed that follows the path of the sun and an Anglo-Saxon longhouse, the West Wing emerged triumphant from nearly 3000 entries for Shed Of The Year.
Featuring several distinct sections, the West Wing has a loft for sleeping, rest and recuperation, a workshop area and also a hidden games room specifically for children accessed from behind a moveable bookcase.
Awarding it the equivalent of a gold medal, the judges form Channel Four's Amazing Spaces admired the determination it took to build over eight years and remarked on its quirky, cosy characteristics.
Taking inspiration from building tree houses as a child, winner Kevin Herbert used several tons of turf and top soil to create the impressive green roof and 99% of the building materials including wood and glazing are recycled.
Although practically finished, there's still work to be done as the stairs are currently being re-aligned and there has to be a shelf erected to accommodate the winner's trophy.
As with many sheds, the West Wing is seen as another room for the house, somewhere to work and relax away from the distractions of the home.
Nathan James Dodd
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