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Charleston Barnyard, sussex

11   /   2016

The challenge for this project was to create a design that did not look "designed".  The Charleston Trust has taken on a huge renovation project, turning the grade II listed barns next to Charleston Farmhouse into a performance space, educational centre, archive, gallery and cafe.  

KLC Students were invited to pitch designs for the surrounding landscape, uniting the Charleston Farmhouse and garden (filled with fabulous art by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and their contemporaries, with the barnyards and surrounding landscape of the Sussex Downs.  

My focus was to ensure that the spaces remained flexible, but also functional (there is a 1.5m change in level across each barnyard).  The design was inspired by the circles found throughout Charleston Farmhouse, painted by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell on almost every flat surface.  The ramps were kept as flat as possible to minimise the need for guardrails dividing up the site.  The ramps also served a dual purpose, becoming an amphitheatre for performances and a tiered stage for outside exhibitions of contemporary art that will be put on by the Trust over the course of the year. 


The planting philosophy used hedgerow shrubs and wild flowers to unite the barns with the surrounding landscape and the cafe area featured Climbing Figs and Euphorbia, echoing the plants found in the Folly Garden next to the house.  

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