The Lantern Community Craft Workshops

Enduring client/architect relationships shows off its worth

Working together under the bright rooflights in the pottery studio.
Working together under the bright rooflights in the pottery studio. · Credit: Simon Maxwell

CaSA Architects for The Lantern Community

Ringwood, Hampshire

Commissioned by the Lantern Community – an organisation whose ethos is to provide ‘meaningful work’ for the adults with learning difficulties who live and work there – this project comprises two bespoke craft workshop buildings for pottery and weaving within a renewed landscape. It was praised by the judges as being well designed, constructed from high quality materials and having a long relationship between client and architect with fruitful and improved results. The strong and enduring client/architect relationship was particularly commended for making the project happen and making it a success, with almost 10 years from conception to completion.

‘These are two buildings for different purposes with a common language,’ explained Hugh Pearman. ‘The client was absolutely determined to maintain the architectural budget on the grounds that this is going to have a long term benefit.’

  • A cluster of buildings that make the village of the Lantern Community.
    A cluster of buildings that make the village of the Lantern Community. · Credit: Simon Maxwell
  • Bricks curve to create an inviting entrance. Companions' pottery is on display in the windows.
    Bricks curve to create an inviting entrance. Companions' pottery is on display in the windows. · Credit: Simon Maxwell
  • For drying wood as well as people.
    For drying wood as well as people. · Credit: Simon Maxwell
  • A wool wall for the weaving workshop.
    A wool wall for the weaving workshop. · Credit: Simon Maxwell
  • Concentrated meaningful work in this warmly timbered weaving workshop.
    Concentrated meaningful work in this warmly timbered weaving workshop. · Credit: Simon Maxwell
  • The split section brings controlled light for the looms into the centre of the plan.
    The split section brings controlled light for the looms into the centre of the plan. · Credit: Simon Maxwell

Individual requirements of workers and workshop leaders alike also remained at the forefront of the design as the items produced are sold in the on-site shop, creating significant revenue for the community.

The project’s sensitive and appropriate design was also praised: ‘The integration of buildings in the landscape is very nice, as is the wickerwork detailing. It feels incredibly safe and nurturing and welcoming,’ said judge Amanda Levete. ‘And the interior is nice – really simply done and fresh.’

‘It looks expensive,’ added judge Claire Bennie.

The buildings also engage well with the existing, encouraging a natural footfall between them. Equally important was the prioritising of gathering space by placing the tea rooms as social hubs along the primary circulation and creating covered entrances and alcoves, thus enhancing the feeling of community.


Return to the MacEwen shortlist home page