Bench 1 at Watts Gallery
A woodland auditorium at Watts Gallery Artists’ Village.
Bench 1 is the newest addition to Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, based in Compton, Surrey. The woodland auditorium, designed by Practice Architecture, sits below Limnerslease and the Studios. The raised douglas-fir amphitheatre can accommodate up to 70 people and creates an enclosed visual and acoustic environment. You may have seen Bench 1 before at the New Art Centre in Salisbury, Frensham Height’s School and Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland.
Everyone is welcome to explore Bench 1 whilst visiting Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, it’s a lovely spot to sit, pause and reflect amongst nature.
How was Bench 1 designed and made?
Practice Architecture’s work often occupies a space between art and architecture, and the act of building and making has a strong relationship with the overall design, this sits alongside our founders, G F and Mary Watts’s, ethos of art incredibly well. Practice Architecture have a hands on approach – designing structures with the process of creating them in mind – the feel of the materials, the structural sequence, how the team will work together to build and find the process rewarding. Working with volunteers, teaching, learning and sharing building-skills is also an important part of the process. To produce this Bench 1, Practice Architecture continued their long-standing partnership with Oscar Cooper of Lignin Builds Ltd., a construction company who work collaboratively to prioritise low-embodied carbon construction methods and the well-being of its team. Bench 1 is designed for a team of four to construct within three weeks, using simple materials and techniques. The process of construction is celebrated in the look and feel of the finished design.
Bench 1 can be found in the Limnerslease Woodland at the Watts Gallery Artists’ Village, Down Lane, Compton, Surrey, GU3 1DQ
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