Projects / The Black Shed (working title)

2018 ongoing

The existing Black Shed (left) at Lawson Park

In its research & development phase at present, this project will see a diverse team of professionals and amateurs collaborate to design, build and furnish a compact house. The house will be compact, sympathetic to its rural context, architecturally exemplary and environmentally sustainable. A diverse team of professionals and amateurs will collaborate to design, build and furnish the house. For reasons of under-representation within Grizedale Arts and within the sectors relevant to the project the delivery team will be all women.

In response to recent development ideas, it has become clear that additional, more flexible accommodation at Lawson Park would be an asset. As an existing structure that occupies a discreet spot close to access tracks and the main Lawson Park buildings, the Black Shed presents itself as the best option for a site or structure to build on or refurbish. Lawson Park’s main hostel sleeps a maximum of 6 people in 4 ensuite rooms, a manageable number for the current organisation staff to host and an affective scale for the kinds of activity most often undertaken by visiting artists and volunteers in the current programme.

However, there are frequent instances where more capacity would significantly enhance the opportunities for us to deliver and develop our programme. An additional small house could allow small families, artists with dependents and curators to visit and stay at Lawson Park independently whilst the main hostel is occupied, experiencing much of the communal activity on offer in the main building. The project will also produce an occasional income stream from short lets to visitors.

Just as importantly, the process of designing and building this replacement structure offers exciting opportunities for a new project that can bring together architects, artists, self-builders and engineers to create a unique rural dwelling. This goal also furthers ambitions to address concerns recently identified in extensive community consultation in Coniston: in particular, the challenge of identifying and producing rural housing suitable for younger and older people.

We will soon be recruiting for participants in the project; if you would like to know more please email for initial information.