Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

 

Kevin Carmody and Andy Groarke have an undeniably inventive and artistic idea of the parameters of architecture. Each time I read into one of their projects, I’m struck by the thought and emotion in it all: a rich, symbolic memorial for the 2005 London bombings, a temporary dining precinct, a modern suburban home, or a new arts precinct built into a vast heritage council housing block in Sheffield. Their approach is outside-the-box (literally, in the case of a temporary museum at Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House in Scotland), but it’s also totally charming and storied, reflecting and extending the real culture of a place. Their latest, two pavilions for a home in rural Sussex, is no different.

The studio was charged with creating an artist’s studio and a guest’s space on the property. Rather than extend or adapt the main house, Carmody Groarke designed two entirely new sites. The lake pavilion was imagined as a hermitage—a private hideaway tucked into the rolling green hills of the property, which feels a little like Tolkien’s Shire, totally removed from the goings-on in the rest of the world. Made from horizontally board-marked, in-situ concrete, the suite can only be accessed via a 40-metre long , galvanised-steel underground tunnel that links up with the main house.

The self-sufficient, one room guest suite contains a bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen. A large window and small oak jetty peer across a quiet, tree-lined lake. The mass of the room is submerged into a grassy hill—making it all but invisible from the main house, and energy efficient too.

 

Related: Kevin Carmody’s Territory of Architecture.

 

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

Two Pavilions in Rural East Sussex, UK by Carmody Groarke | Yellowtrace

 

The new artist’s studio on the property has been built up from ruins of a dilapidated eighteenth-century farmhouse—to Carmody Groarke, this was the correct starting point to create a new space for making art. The design for the artist’s studio has been awarded a RIBA South East Award this year.

Existing brickwork was retained, while the figure of the original farmhouse walls was re-enacted inside and out in polished concrete. A new weathering steel roof welded in-situ overhangs the existing footprint to create covered outside spaces to work, while four large windows have been placed to take in the best view of the surrounding farmland. A four-metre wide glazed opening faces an orchard and allows light to flood into the space. Like the lake pavilion, Carmody Groarke envisage the studio becoming immersed in land and greenery too, leaving only the steel roof emerging visible above the long grasses and trees.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Carmody Groarke. Photography by Johan Dehlin. Existing and construction photography by Carmody Groarke.]

 

About The Author

Sammy Preston

Sammy Preston is a writer, editor, and curator living in Sydney. Working especially within art and design, and then lifestyle and culture more broadly, Sammy is a senior writer at Broadsheet, and a contributing digital editor at Foxtel's Lifestyle platform. Sammy also contributes regularly to art and design press like VAULT Magazine, Art Collector, Art Edit, Habitus, and Indesign magazines. She's written art essays for MUSEUM, exhibition texts for Sophie Gannon Gallery, and has worked as an arts and culture editor for FBi Radio. In 2016, she worked as part of the editorial team for Indesign Magazine as digital editor during the publication's pivotal print and website redesign. Sammy was also the founding manager and curator of contemporary art space Gallery 2010—a curator-run initiative housed within a Surry Hills loading dock. The gallery hosted exhibitions with emerging and established artists from 2012 until 2016.

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