Grizedale Arts are currently working with the local Coniston cricket club to redesign the pavilion for their grounds. The site is undoubtedly one of the most visually stunning in whole of the country, situated at the dramatic foot of the Coniston fells, however the existing pavilion is little more than a series of sheds containing multitudinous lawn mowers. The opportunity to create a dynamic, contemporary and multi-functional building, with the ability to garner far wider usage and appreciation within the village and further afield, was too good to pass. The project has been undertaken as a community self-build in an attempt to raise awareness of the various possibilities for such buildings, and what it says about the future, and ambition of the village. as well as the power of high quality architecture and design in a civic setting. The project is advocating a multi functional construction, which could double as a contemporary holiday let, bakery, or some other amenity otherwise absent in the village, outside of the cricket season, with the aim of encouraging greater involvement within the various village groups, showing an alternative model for how villages can be designed. One of the crucial points of the project is to bring greater involvement, integration and use of the amazing grounds within the village, as well as securing the financial future of the clubs. The cricket, tennis and bowls available at the site have a small group of members, and even fewer spectators, despite the extensive array of benches available and beautiful scenery.
In research for the design of the pavilion Grizedale have organised workshops and talks held in the Institute for interested villagers, from a variety of artists, architects and designers who work in appropriate ways. This has included the Yangjiang Group from China who built a large scale open air structure, the Shu Fa After Dinner Cricket Club, which, although unsuited to the rainy site of Coniston, has been exhibited at Eastside Projects Birmingham and will feature in the coming Frieze Art Fair in October. Dominic Stevens also gave a public talk and open discussion on the possibilities of low cost contemporary builds, an irish architect who works with low cost and low impact projects, using local materials, to create functional rural buildings which work with and take account of their context. We have also had a workshop by Michael Marriott, a product designer who makes practical furniture with recycled materials and simple designs, talking about design as a process, unconscious design and bad design, in order to unpack some of the thinking about how the way things look influences, and controls, their usage.
Design of the pavilion is ongoing, with further meetings and site visits planned to bring the brief closer to completion, which will then be either sent out to selected architects or opened for wider competition.
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