We started the day travelling the short distance across the Downs to Ditchling Museum of Arts and Crafts and the first of their New Truth to Materials exhibition series focusing on wood. The exhibition engages with work and makers that explore the qualities of both the potential of the material and traditional making skills.
Making our way north and east we came to Chatham Historic Dockyards and the Stirling Prize nominated Command of the Oceans. It’s sensitive response to the existing fabric, knitting the new into the old was a subtle reminder of the importance and power of considered detailing to take the conceptual concerns through to 1:1.
Turning back west we travelled along the river to pause at Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve. Sat within a fragile edgeland and industrial landscapes van Heyningen and Haward’s environment and education centre seemingly floats over the landscape although seated on a vandal proof base with draw bridge access. Sustaining itself with solar power, natural ventilation and recycled rainwater it expressed its light touch approach through its day to day running as much as its form.
Moving further west we entered the city to stop at Caruso St John’s Stirling Prize winning Newport Street Gallery, enjoying the highly considered detailing and sensitive transformation of the existing row of listed industrial buildings.
Crossing the river we the visited Tate Britain to see their exhibition of Rachel Whiteread’s work; memories held within form and the delicate transference of staining, allowing you to appreciate these intricate details as if for the first time.
To end the day we joined Jack’s office, Piercy and Company to hear about their highly considered approach towards working, thinking and making. Collaborating with craftspeople, makers and fabricators they work towards an architecture with a sensibility towards texture, historic fabric and place.
Thank you to everyone involved for making it such a memorable and rewarding road trip.