Wysing Arts Centre 13.02.08

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London-based architects HawkinsBrown have added two new structures to a cluster of farm buildings at Wysing Arts Centre in Bourn, Cambridgeshire. The courtyard now includes an artists’ studio block and reception area alongside an existing converted storage barn and former cow sheds.

The main studio block at the front of the site provides nine studios over two floors. The alternating rhythm of the full-height glazing and timber louvres on the front elevation replicates the timber structure of the adjacent building, a 17-century farmhouse.

The louvres also act as part of a ventilation system, with internal doors that open out into the studio spaces. “Internally we've strived for uncluttered simplicity, generous proportions and maximum day-lighting,” says project architect Jason Martin. The interior colour palette consists of greys and whites, with concrete floors and expanses of glazing.

The studio block also includes a south-facing timber deck structure providing access to the studios. “ It provides shade from direct sunlight and a pleasant place to sit out and enjoy views of the countryside,” says Martin.

The second new structure provides a reception block and connection to the existing gallery space. “We decided to split the accommodation into two buildings,” says Martin. “This created external circulation routes, which gets people back out into the fresh countryside air on a regular basis.” The green and yellow timber in the reception’s external porch matches the flora on the surrounding hills. Both buildings are considerate to the location and existing buildings, as well as providing contemporary aspects to the site.



images Hélène Binet

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