muf were commissioned to work alongside Tony Fretton Architects on the Lottery funded renovation and extension of the Camden Arts Centre building. We initiated an information gathering process with the staff and the past and current users to explore the range of needs, aspirations and personal attachments to the building, exhibition and education program.
This research informed the design process and identified a paradoxical attitude to the garden, which was considered a much-valued wilderness but one that should be made fully accessible.
It was not possible within the budget to make DDA compliant access across the entire steeply inclined garden site, so we devised a design that extended the café terrace on a level gradient but which created the sense of a feral ruin and wilderness.
The design was based on research that revealed the garden originated as a gap site created by a WWII bomb, and was later incorporated as part of the Arts Centre site. The design traces the footprint of the houses that stood on the site and also makes space for the self-seeded 60+ year-old trees that grew up through the ruins.
Camden Arts Centre An Accessible Wilderness 2004
Artist on the Design Team for the Refurbishment of Camden Arts Centre