In partnership with the Coniston Institute & Ruskin Museum, we are working to progress a proposal to transform the neglected alleyway that connects the main village road with the two institutions. The aim is to create a garden space, with planting, seating and activity spaces including - we hope - an outdoor classroom for all sorts of activities. The project will also provide much-needed disabled parking and access, and enhance signposting to the institutions.
Ongoing work with Hayatsu Architects and architecture students from Central St Martins in London has already created a spectacular copper-clad interpretation kiosk (for the Coniston Copper heritage project) and wood-fired bread oven which are key features in the plan. You can read about the evolution of these elements here. With Takeshi Hayatsu as lead architect on the master plan, Karen Guthrie has been appointed as planting designer. Both have taken design influence from John Ruskin's close study of the natural world and his appreciation of the local, vernacular arts and crafts.
In September 2018 there was a well-attended Open Day held at the Institute to show the community the plans and invite discussion with the design team. A small executive committee has formed to progress the project and fund-raising has begun, with the ambition to be on site in early 2019 with an education programme for both children and adults.
(Work-in-progress image by Hayatsu Architects, 2018)