our Brighton Architectural Notebooks are now in Homage!

Yes – that is right! You can now find our Brighton Architectural notebooks in the beautiful home store, Homage, in the Seven Dials area of Brighton.

claire-potter-design-architectural-notebooks-in-homage

Packed up in mixed threes, you can get a set of A6 notebooks made from 100% recycled paper, printed in Sussex with images of iconic pieces of Brighton Architecture – the Pavilion, the Palace Pier and our beloved West Pier.

Image result for homage brighton

And check out the beautiful pieces they have in the store – from hand thrown utilitarian ceramic mugs to wide toothed combs, scented candles and hanging glass planters. We are delighted to be in such a lovely store. Go and say hi to Mark and Liza at Homage and check them out in their online store – www.homageonline.co.uk 

(images by claire potter and homage)

CPD project update – the Preston Circus Planter…

We have been working on this project for a little while now – a new external planter for the landscaped area outside the Duke of York’s Cinema in Brighton, and this week, we finally saw it jump out of our screens.

Preston Circus Pocket Square NEW SCHEME small

Based on the huge amount of converging lines that meet up in this part of Brighton, the new planter has been commissioned by Brighton and Hove City Council to replace an old, defunct standard structure. The geometric shape that has emerged from the road lines on the plan has now been built locally from 20mm steel which will be galvanised for durability. The external faces are due to be clad in reclaimed decking from the Palace Pier in Brighton and are being bolted to the frame to ensure that each piece can be replaced if required.

Iron Designs planter image 2

The planting will be a selection of hardy perennial and the whole piece is set to be installed in the next month or so. We will keep you updated on the progress…

2015 recap – March 2015 – industrial interior design – on trend or eco?

March heralded a very popular post about our specialism, eco interior design and industrial interior design, and here we were pondering… is all industrial interior design automatically eco?

(first published 31 March 15)

Often, when people find out that we are ‘eco interior architects’, they ask exactly what that means. Do we only use natural materials? Do we use reclaimed materials? Do we have a particular look? The answer varies, but the general consensus is ‘sometimes’. We do use a huge amount of natural materials and specialise in using reclaimed pieces, and whilst our style is very particular to the studio (a general honest, slightly industrial look) it depends hugely on what our client requires. But, the ongoing trend for ‘industrial’ styled spaces tends to lean towards the use of honest, raw, yet highly precise materials.

Designing a Modern Fast Food Restaurant

One such example of this type of interior is with the new fast food restaurant, ‘Simple’ in central Kiev. This innovative restaurant was given a complete identity and interior design by Ukrainian based Brandon Agency, who stuck to the use of organic materials such as plywood, kraft paper and machined timber to create a simple and unified scheme.

brandon-agency-simple-restaurant-8

With the ubiquitous grey (of which we are massive fans…) there is a good balance between the white brick and the green of the plants – another essential ingredient in the stereotypical ‘eco’ interior, which creates a fresh and welcoming, if slightly hipstery space. The design is thorough and beautifully balanced and fits the branding and ethos of the company – simple – very well.

Now, we are fully aware that even though eco interiors can be created in any style, this is the type of project which has come to represent the genre. This is great whilst the grey / green / timber space is being welcomed, but we are pretty keen to break down a myth that perhaps all eco interiors look like this. Many projects that may not be seen as an ‘eco’ interior on the face are actually very responsibly sourced and specified, so if you do not see wood and plants, it does not necessarily mean that it is not an eco interior.

Sometimes you have to scratch the surface a bit…

(images via Design Milk)

2015 Eco Open Houses a great success!

Last weekend we were delighted to be part of the 2015 Eco Open Houses trail in Brighton – opening up our workspace, Studio Loo to the public. This is the second time that we have been part of the trail as we opened for visitors in 2014, when the studio was about 80% through it’s conversion from derelict wc to the eco office space it is now. It was great to look back over the past year and recall the photos from the construction period.

claire potter design studio 2

And it was also great to welcome back people that visited last year – many had returned so they could see how we had finished the space. For instance, visitors last year saw the reclaimed parquet flooring as individual sticks in bags, but this year they got to see it down, sanded, polished and lacquered – and complete with a years worth of little scratches and dents from use.

But it was also great to welcome a load of new people to Studio Loo – many of whom had travelled a fair distance to see our converted wc and talk to us about their own projects – and how what we have done could be applied to their spaces.

eco open houses 2015

We discussed recycled paint, solid insulation, solar gain and glazing, timber certification and we even gave away a few of our secret spots for finding reclaimed furniture and materials in Brighton and the surrounding areas. 

On Saturday we had a visit from MP for Portslade and Hove, Peter Kyle, who was with us for almost an hour discussing the merits of great design and the reuse of abandoned buildings, and on Sunday we had a visit of nearly 40 people in one go, courtesy of Cara Courage and the Brighton and Hove Urban Ramblers…eco open houses 2 2015

Another great weekend of chatting about all things sustainable design and architecture – we are now gearing up the studio for our next public opening as part of the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses – watch this space!

(images by claire potter and courtesy of Cara Courage and Eco Open Houses)

Zero Waste Week – zero waste grocery shopping…

Today for zero waste week, we are looking at food and grocery shopping. Whilst we can all move towards ethical consumerism by buying less stuff new, supporting our charity shops and clothes swaps, food shopping is something that we all have to do. We can, of course, shop locally and seasonally, fairtrade and organic, but when it comes to zero waste, the options slim down considerably. But, there are few people tackling this issue head on with an effort towards zero waste – the packaging free food shops.

zero waste week - hiSbe produce area
the hiSbe produce area – all brown paper bags

Now, I may be showing my age a little, but I remember a time when the ‘scoop and save’ shops could be found with relative ease. Huge bins of flours, cake mixes, dried fruit and cereals could be bought, by weight, using the heavy duty brown paper bags at the shop. The empty brown bags went on the compost and everyone was happy. You could even buy a bag of bargain basement broken biscuits (try saying that after a few teatime tiffins). We used to try and fish out as many of the jammie dodgers and pink wafers as we could (delicious and light, respectively).

But like many things that once graced our town centres, one day the dry scoop shops left the high street, and whilst we are sure there must be a few still left, we are more used to buying our goods from the supermarket shelf – prepackaged and in predetermined weights. Choice, and zero waste – gone.

So when we are berating supermarkets and producers for coddling their goods in ever enclosing forms of packaging, what is the alternative? Of course, we can try and recycle the packaging (it is is even suited to recycling), but wouldn’t it be better to not have it there in the first place?

Unpackaged in London – the original store

Step in the scoop and save mark 2 – a new wave of grocery stores are starting to spring up both in the UK and Europe that have rethought the ‘no packaging’ concept and updated it to the needs of the modern consumer.

the new Unverpackt store in Berlin

Founded in 2006, Unpackaged in London encouraged customers to bring their own containers and vessels to fill – weighing them at the start to ensure that only the contents get charged and recently, Unverpackt has opened in Berlin – stocking over 400 different lines. Control of how much food you take is down to you, so if you only need 250g of flour for a cake recipe and you don’t often bake, you don’t need to buy 1.5kg of flour that will end up being studded with weevils. Zero waste for packaging and food alike.

Independent supermarket, hiSbe in Brighton also has a dry dispenser area, and when we were designing the interior of the hiSbe store, this was the one area that we were a little concerned that people would perhaps not ‘get’. Getting the signage, location and process correct for the dry dispensers was key, and whilst new visitors took a little bit of hand holding, people really embraced the zero waste concept and the area became a true hub of the hiSbe store.

zero waste week - hiSbe dry dispensers
the first hiSbe dry dispenser area

In fact, the dry dispensing area at hiSbe has proved so successful, we recently designed an extension to the first area, housing another 20 hoppers, plus containers for herbs and supplements and areas for large stainless steel oil drums, containing extra virgin olive oil. We are also talking about the next steps to extend the area too.

So, is this the way forward for food shopping? Will we become accustomed to dispensing our own goods into easily compostable bags, or into our own containers again? It will certainly allow us to reduce our packaging burden, and give us back more control…

And what would the true zero waste supermarket of tomorrow look like?

(images via Unverpackt and hiSbe by claire potter design)

SPOTTED – a contemporary, secluded home in the forest…

As much as we are urbanites, we have a real hankering for retreats – secluded spaces where life is simpler and needs are more basic. We have a particular love for tiny spaces hidden in the woods – functioning completely off grid and allowing a real get away from everything, but even though we love little place, this gorgeous, secluded home in the forest swayed us a bit.

Situated in the pine forests on the outskirts of Sao Paolo, Brazil, this beautifully contemporary space is actually houses a home, sauna and indoor swimming pool, encased in a minimally clad shell with oversized glazing.

Studio mk27 Mororo House

As the mountainous region that the house sits in gets rather cold in the winter months, the structure has massive amounts of insulation and rooms such as the bedrooms and living spaces are located in the solid block of the building, with the glazed end featuring the swimming pool.

The interior is open plan, with huge floor to ceiling windows both letting in light and connecting to the forest outside, whilst the timber furniture continues this rustic feel.

What we like about this structure is that it is completely unapologetic for it’s mass, with, we think, a very agricultural feel that sits nicely in the location. This does not occur with all secluded dwellings – many revert back to the traditional vernacular style, so we think it is great that this house, by Studio Mk27 is doing something a little different…

(images by Fernando Guerra, via Inhabitat)

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 – a preview…

Clerkenwell Design Week is upon us once more – beginning today, the annual three day event in the part of London that has the densest population of creative studios, practices and showrooms, per square mile – in the world. Quite something. And each year, these doors are thrown open to all for three days of talks, exhibitions, workshops, launches and parties – for free.

We will be heading up to Clerkenwell on Thursday for a look about, plus we will be on the FIXPERTS stand in the Design Factory between 1-5 (come and say hello!) and then we are off to a very special workshop with the guys at Factorylux (Urban Cottage Industries) – more on that later on in the week, but for those of you not familiar with Clerkenwell, here are our top tips:

1 – Looking for furniture, lighting and product design? First stop has to be The Design Factory located in the Farmiloe Building on 34 St John Street. Not only is the building absolutely stunning (a real 19th century industrial beauty), the variety of work on show is staggering.

2 – want to see the hot off the press new designers in another architectural gem? Check out the House of Detention next, which features interlocking subterranean spaces filled with great design and furniture.

3 – Clerkenwell Conversations is another real highlight of the three day festival, with world class designers, architects and manufacturers – this year talking about everything from public art to the architects insatiable desire to create furniture (ahem). Take a look here for the full programme.

4 – there are multiple showrooms open too, where you can discuss projects directly with the manufacturers, or just have a nose. This year we will be heading to Camira, Interface, The SCIN Gallery and Vitra – for starters…

5 – check out the Fringe too – there are some great event on in the smaller workshops and studios…

And want to whet your appetite? Take a look here at this round up from last year.

(video via Clerkenwell Design Week)

FAVILLA – to every light a voice – an innovative lighting installation by Ford and Attilo Stocchi

There have been many points in my life when I have wished that I spoke another language properly – mostly to make travelling easier on the embarrassment stakes, but sometimes because by not understanding, you realise that you are missing out on something quite special. And so it was when we saw a press preview of the Ford lighting installation, Favilla (to every light a voice) at the Salone del Mobile this year, which was formed of two, interlinked experiences.

FAVILLA external 2

The exterior installation was special, with a ghostly model of the new Ford GT being brought alive by all manner of projections, renderings and effects – many of which are used within the design stages of car production, with a great soundtrack to match.

FAVILLA external 1

Running for a couple of minutes, the GT was mesmerising with its changing skins of colour and pattern.

FAVILLA external 3

But, it was the internal installation, based in the same, black box structure that really stole the show for us. ‘FAVILLA – to every light a voice’ showcased the science of light and was curated by architect Attillo Stocchi in collaboration with Ford, examining and highlighting the way light moves in an immersive experience.

Waiting outside, we heard small rumblings of the installation and were soon gathered into the space – 27 of us – each standing on a small, white, numbered spot on the floor.

Plunged into darkness, a beautifully deep Italian voice began the narration as sections of the geometric internal panels were lit in shades of white, changing into forest patterns – perfectly supported by a stunning musical score. Patterns changed to soft light, clouds to fire and spotlights to fragmented light through the crystal which hung silently in the centre of the space.

FAVILLA internal

This was easily one of the most beautiful installations we had ever experienced, despite not understanding any of the narration, which is where the regret was felt. How much more powerful would the installation have been if we had understood? It was already incredibly moving, and after reading the English translation, perhaps even more so.

FAVILLA internal 1

As architecture fanatics, the structure itself was also a real statement, with the solidness of the black box exterior contrasting hugely with the Milanese buildings around, but the interior was particularly successful. The geometric forms of the panels in the building enveloped you in light and projections – making you feel like you were standing in the centre of a gemstone. It was both enclosing and spacious – plus, the decision to only let 27 or so people in at any one time meant that you had room to look around you and experience the whole installation.

FAVILLA internal 2

“A successful design requires more than pleasing aesthetics – it needs to connect with consumers, speak to their aspirations and pleasantly surprise them,” said Moray Callum, Ford’s Vice President of Design. “This installation takes visitors through an unexpected discovery process that perfectly reflects Ford’s philosophy that design is an emotional journey orchestrated around the customer.”

And this is exactly what the piece was. Truly beautiful and emotional- even when you don’t understand Italian…

See below for a behind the scenes view of FAVILLA…

(Photos by claire potter, video courtesy of Ford)

industrial interior design or on trend, eco and simple?

Often, when people find out that we are ‘eco interior architects’, they ask exactly what that means. Do we only use natural materials? Do we use reclaimed materials? Do we have a particular look? The answer varies, but the general consensus is ‘sometimes’. We do use a huge amount of natural materials and specialise in using reclaimed pieces, and whilst our style is very particular to the studio (a general honest, slightly industrial look) it depends hugely on what our client requires. But, the ongoing trend for ‘industrial’ styled spaces tends to lean towards the use of honest, raw, yet highly precise materials.

Designing a Modern Fast Food Restaurant

One such example of this type of interior is with the new fast food restaurant, ‘Simple’ in central Kiev. This innovative restaurant was given a complete identity and interior design by Ukrainian based Brandon Agency, who stuck to the use of organic materials such as plywood, kraft paper and machined timber to create a simple and unified scheme.

brandon-agency-simple-restaurant-8

With the ubiquitous grey (of which we are massive fans…) there is a good balance between the white brick and the green of the plants – another essential ingredient in the stereotypical ‘eco’ interior, which creates a fresh and welcoming, if slightly hipstery space. The design is thorough and beautifully balanced and fits the branding and ethos of the company – simple – very well.

Now, we are fully aware that even though eco interiors can be created in any style, this is the type of project which has come to represent the genre. This is great whilst the grey / green / timber space is being welcomed, but we are pretty keen to break down a myth that perhaps all eco interiors look like this. Many projects that may not be seen as an ‘eco’ interior on the face are actually very responsibly sourced and specified, so if you do not see wood and plants, it does not necessarily mean that it is not an eco interior.

Sometimes you have to scratch the surface a bit…

(images via Design Milk)

what we are up to: FIELD Brighton…

We are delighted that we have been up to loads of interesting and exciting things already this year, and we can now announce the first… Back in January we were part of the first call for Brighton based makers for the forthcoming redevelopment of a long term derelict site in the city…FIELD brighton main page

So what exactly is FIELD? Well in the words of the developing team themselves (Cathedral Group – who are marvellous, and also working on the Circus Street redevelopment in Brighton)

‘We want to work with you; Brighton’s makers, creatives and innovators, to transform a corner of Brighton into something more than just a field. The possibilities are endless. A field of inquiry, of knowledge, of expertise, of endeavour. A playing field. A field of innovation.

Over the coming months we will be inviting you to hold events, exhibitions and providing opportunities for you to shape what FIELD should be.

You all have something in common: you make. We are inviting you to make FIELD your home for now and the future. Your activities will define what will in time become an exciting new community. The ideas generated by FIELD will inform, shape and deliver the future of the maker community at the gateway of the city of Brighton.’

This is exciting stuff. Many moons ago I gazed upon this long abandoned piece of land whilst doing my Interior Architecture degree on the top floor of the University of Brighton building opposite. It is huge – and has incredible scope…FIELD brighton profile page

And so we are delighted to be part of the start of this really exciting project with a load of other great makers – we will keep you posted of the developments and we are full of ideas… (NB – I don’t usually look this stern – we went for a ‘power gaze…’)

Check out the main FIELD Brighton website to see what the project is all about and get on the mailing list to be the first to hear about what is going on…

(thank you also to the great Dean Chalkley for my great photo and also to Studio Makgill for their art direction on the shoot!)

our top five pick of the 2015 trends…

Okay – we know that we were due to have published this in January, but hey – we have been busy with cool stuff that we are not allowed to talk about yet. So, very much in the mindset of better late than never, here are our top picks of 2015 trends…

Geometric to stay – possibly without chevrons…

Image of Jacquet Cushion - Chalkhill Blue

There has been loads of chevrons about in 2014 and we are getting a bit overloaded now, so we predict a continuation of the geometric and the fading of the chevron. This Jacquet cushion by Mini Moderns has got it right.

Reclamation goes mainstream – and refined…

claire potter studio main 6

We have been banging on about this for a while now, but it seems as though 2015 might be the year that more people embrace reclaimed materials as the norm. No ‘hair shirt and sandals’ here though – we want our reused waste refined and precise… (just like the parquet flooring we used as flooring and wall cladding at our new studio…)

Golden metallics are here to stay…

converted headlamp pendant with glass lens

2014 saw the comeback of brass, which joined copper of 2013 and we think that 2015 trends will see metallics used en masse once again. But, instead of going for the shiny shiny of new metallics, we will be looking at using golden metallics with a nice reclaimed patina to them, like this fantastic head lamp available from Skinflint Design. Older is mostly always better for us.

Khaki…

Bronze Olive

Spring fashion trends are picking up on military influences, and we think that khaki may be one of the influences to trip over from the catwalk to our interiors. Great news for us – we are not fans *at all* of the 2015 Pantone colour of the year – Marsala, we would much rather bring a bit of khaki inside instead – like the fab Bronze Olive shade from Reborn Paints.

And lastly – localised products as well as localised foods…

We all know that Farmer’s Markets have injected a new insight into local food production, but what about local makers? More and more fairs and maker movements are cropping up, with events from markets to repair workshops appearing across the UK. This can only be a good thing – making local not only helps to keep funds local, but it means that your stuff is travelling less to get to you. Finding something that is made from locally produced waste is even better – as well as people who can fix stuff too…

So – there are a few of our top tips for things that we think you will see grow over the next 12 months… check back with us in 2016 to see if we were right…

(images as credited, or by claire potter)

2015 trend predictions – we give our insights to Terry’s Blinds…

Today, we are continuing our trend predictions and are delighted to report that we have been featured on the Designer Insights section of the Terry’s Blinds blog – talking about our work and five of our top tips for interior design in 2015…

Courtesy of: Terrys Blinds

2014 recap – November – is eco design really now just an option?

Back in November we were asked to contribute to the rather marvellous EDGE Condition publication, and we decided to write a bit of a rant about how we dislike the term ‘eco design’…

first published 26 November 2014…

A little while ago, back in 2008 when I set up this studio, we were very explicit about saying we were eco design specialists. We were fully committed to creating beautiful, innovative and sustainable solutions for whatever project we tackled. We were green. Fast forward a few years and nothing has really changed, except perhaps the way we explain who we are and what we do. Certainly, we are eco design specialists, but we do not necessarily promote that.

Now, this is not because we are not immensely proud of what we do, we think that we are getting to a stage where this should almost be a given. Eco design – and designing responsibly – is not a choice. We have a responsibility to our clients, the wider world and ourselves to ensure that we are designing in the best possible way we can be. Surely we should all be ‘eco designers’, or that that the methodology is integral to the role of being a ‘designer’?

Unfortunately, this is not the same for all of us, but we are seeing a distinct shift…

We have found over the years that our clients are expecting that we would be creating responsible designs, just as we would create designs that are on brief, deliverable and to budget. Designs that are exciting, innovative and forward thinking. And we are delighted about this.

So, when I was asked if I would like to contribute to the fourth edition of the fantastic architectural publication EDGEcondition, with the subject of ‘Teaching the Future’ – I was delighted again. And this is because I really see a bit of disconnect in many of the design courses up and down this land. You learn design, then somewhere along the line, you have an ‘eco design’ module – a singular, tag on, additive module that often is not talked about in many other modules. Surely we are past this now?

You can see my article – Perfect Circles – on page 80…

2014 recap – October – first Eco Open House weekend…

2014 was a big year for us in many ways – including completing the building of our new studio in Brighton, which we have converted from an old public toilet into an industrially styled, eclectic space. And in October, we opened our studio to the first visitors on the Eco Open Houses tour weekend, whilst we were still finishing it up…

first published 21st October 2014…

We have been a little bit quiet over here on the ecospot over the last week or so. There are many reasons for this – for one, we were having a bit of a major design overhaul (and we hope you like the new look!) and as well as having a digital redesign we were working in the physical too – trying to complete our new studio in time for the first Brighton and Hove Eco Open Houses tour weekend on 18th / 19th October. Long days, long nights and lots of goings on. But, we are nearly there on both respects, and it was with delight that we opened our doors to the public for the very first time on Sunday morning…

studio loo front

We are not completely there, but very nearly and there was loads of stuff that we could say about the project to explain to people where we had started from, where we were and where we will be when we open again on Saturday 25th.

studio spider chandelier small

It was fantastic. We had put notes on a lot of the key areas of the rebuild and conversion from old public toilet to design studio and it was not long before our pen had nearly run out. From our Celotex insulation to locally sourced plants, recycled paint from REBORN paints to upcycled cabinets from local charity Emmaus, we spoke about a different side to the eco buildings in the city.

studio plants small

We do not have our solar panels on our roof yet, but our electricity is supplied by Ecotricity and we have used A+ appliances throughout and energy saving bulbs. Plants also feature heavily in the studio to not only create a nice environment but to act as air cleaners – removing the toxins which will be given out by our printer, computers and even as we breathe.

labels on the wall

And despite not being completely finished, we were delighted at the comments that people gave us when they visited. Some people had travelled specifically to see our studio, others were doing as many of the Eco Open Houses as possible and others were just walking along the road and happened upon us. All in all, we had just over 60 visitors, which we were most chuffed about.

reborn paints small

But, as soon as the last visitors had gone, the building materials were back in and we were back at the works, with the flooring, front door and tiling set to be finished off this week. I have the job of putting in the hanging planters that I was speaking to people about as well…

neon green flex. grey and copper

So – if you are about, pop by and say hello this weekend – we are at 201 Portland Road in Hove and will be open on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th between 10-1 and 2-5. And we can highly recommend the cafe along the road, Pelican on Portland for all things tasty, lovely and delicious.

(all photos by claire potter)

2014 recap – September – the narrative of the Jerwood…

September and May are always two of the busiest months for us at the studio, with the Brighton Festival and the London Design Festival, but we managed to have a day off – and we went to the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings…

first published 8th September…

Sometimes it is good to do things on the spur of the moment, and yesterday was one such day. The sun was shining – the last hurrah of summer – and so with nothing else planned, a trip was hatched to visit Hastings, and specifically, the Jerwood Gallery which had an exhibition by Quentin Blake – a personal childhood hero.hastings Jerwood 6Even though I had not visited Hastings for a very long while, I remember far back in the depths of my architecture education when I became obsessed with the tall, pitched roofed net houses on the Rock-O-Nore road. There was something about the honesty of their construction, both in terms of orientation, structure and materials that made them incredibly appealing. Like stretched sentinels they stand over the Old Town beach, with the fishing boats and fresh fish huts below. I loved them.

hastings Jerwood 4So when I found out a while back that the Jerwood would stand within touching distance of my beloved net huts I was a little wary. Without a deep connection to this site, the new building could stick out like a very modern and very sore thumb. However, when I saw the resulting building on the pages of architecture blogs and the design press in 2012 I was delighted. The building looked sensitive yet unapologetic and well, fitted.

hastings Jerwood 7But – architecture is something that you experience, not read about. A well composed photograph will tell you so much, but it is not until you are in any space that youdiscover the delights of the building as well as areas which perhaps do not work as well. Noise, smell, light, how the building copes with few people, masses of people. How the building feels in its skin and its surroundings.

I was not disappointed. HAT have created a delightful building. Passing the fading ‘No Jerwood’ signs on Rock-O-Nore Road towards the gallery, it felt a little sad that a few of the local residents felt this way – and enough to keep the signs up well after the gallery’s opening.

hastings Jerwood 2

The immediate appearance blends beautifully with the surrounding net huts – the monolithic building is certainly wider, but being clad in black shimmering iridescent tiles both the literal cues and the poetic cues to the fishing buildings and heritage are apparent.

Hastings Jerwood 1And the building is exceedingly clever. It is always a personal marker of a great building when I become obsessed with the structure and details perhaps a little more than the objects that the building contains. Details and junctions between flooring, the slatted walls looking up towards the rooflights, the cor-ten steel signage, the oak handrails that already feel polished, the shadows cast across the concrete floors…

hastings Jerwood 3But, one of the areas that I was most impressed with was how the building dealt with its location. The net huts surrounding the building are not hidden. They suddenly appear, framed within floor to ceiling windows in galleries – so much so that their height and scale can be fully appreciated in a way that is not possible at ground level. The building at the top of the East cliff lift is also framed and celebrated too, along with the low timber clad fresh fish huts at the rear of the Jerwood.

hastings jerwood 5Even in the courtyard area, the net huts sit nicely above the lowered fence line and talk to the oily Jerwood tiles beside beautifully. Like distant cousins, but with a similar family trait. Pitched rooflights on the top of the Jerwood also mimic the roof lines of the huts, creating another line woven in the contextural success of the building.

The art, is of course, wonderful. Interesting, well displayed and beautifully lit. But for me, the building is the real stunner.

(Photos by claire potter)