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 consists of 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, to be led by the Coniston Cricket Club and Grizedale Arts alongside local residents, in an attempt to raise awareness of the potential of high quality sustainable architecture 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 and demonstrating an alternative model for how villages can be designed. One of the crucial intentions 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 pavilion design 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 called the Shu Fa After Dinner Cricket Club, which, although unsuited to the rainy site of Coniston, has been exhibited at Eastside Projects Birmingham and featured in Frieze Art Fair 2012. 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 that 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 aesthetics can both influence and control an object’s usage.
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