How many people for whom the name ‘Yates Wine Lodge’ is familiar would have dreamt that Britain would re-spawn such a growth in wine bars and coffee cafes from the mid 1980’s onwards.
As these outlets expanded they were too often filled to the brim with interesting ‘items’ giving rise to the number of architectural salvage companies that catalogued their warehouses and started reproducing old fun features. Design became a bit of a jigsaw game using pieces that were never meant to form one picture – but it ‘worked’ for a while.
Paulton’s Wine Bar represented a fresh change for us. Our client, MacClaren Interiors, required a design far removed from the revival of ‘Omnium Gatherum’, wanting instead, rich textures and mood lighting throughout two restaurants and one bar.
We have designed a Valentine Garden that spreads its love year-round. At the centre of the design there are two ‘heart walls’ of irregular stonework that link to form a central heart shape. Alongside these walls, there are two flights of steps with different step depths and riser heights.
It will come together on site in an improvised way, as the stones we pick will influence the final look, and the surrounding garden will blossom with a knobbly carpet of red, white and pink blooms.
There are some wonderful examples of ‘organic’ architecture in this area. Have a look at the buildings of Cae Mabon – works of craft, art and architecture blended perfectly.
When I was a Partner in an Architecture Practice, I cannot recall one student approaching me with the faintest interest in traditional rustic building techniques but now, thankfully, there is a growing interest in clay paints, hay bale housing, lime mortars, cob, wood frame, re-cycled materials and earth ship construction.
When I was told that it was not easy for architecture students to find places in the UK to get practical hands-on experience of such rustic building techniques we started to run some experience weekends which continue to this day.
It is always important that the best of the past is coupled with the best of today’s innovations and those students who want to get some hands-on experience at the HoBB, should contact me but whilst here, allow enough time to travel a bit further West to the Centre for Alternative Technology.