Lewes, East Sussex
In 2009 JFA won an invited competition in partnership with Julian Harrap Architects to accommodate a sizeable addition to the existing farmhouse and support buildings of the Charleston Trust, including a new auditorium, archive, education spaces, galleries and café, orientation spaces and new offices. The sensitive nature of this rural site on the edge of the South Downs was a primary concern. Estate, local farmers and the town of Lewes were all included in consultation.
The project is currently on site and due for completion this year.
Our proposal includes a new building in cross-laminated timber, which makes reference to the wooden frames of Charleston's historic barns yet employs modern fabrication techniques. The roof of the new building will be Cor-ten steel, continuing the robust, agricultural aesthetic, and referencing the distinctive ochre colouring of the existing clay roof tiles and brick.
The gallery space is made up of three volumes, identical in scale to the main living spaces of Charleston's farmhouse. This gives a sense of balance and familiarity between the farmhouse and the new building and it means that the gallery is perfectly suited to displaying the domestically-scaled paintings of the Bloomsbury Group.