The Ecology of Colour

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Location: Dartford, Kent, UK

Client: Artlands Medway

Project Year: 2011-2012

Cost:

Recently winning three RIBA awards including South East Building of the Year 2013, this building is part of a project to bring public function to a neglected corner of Dartford Park, now re-named Ecology Island.

The building acts as a jolly custodian for the re-imagined park. Both the brief and design for Ecology of Colour were designed to place emphasis on community engagement and creating a meaningful educational resource.

The Ecology of Colour is a small building that provides flexible accommodation for a programme of events and workshops based around dyeing and wildlife; planting a meadow of flowers and vegetables that yield natural dyes and beckon wildlife. The intention is for the initial series of events to be followed by the foundation of a friends' group, in order to firmly root the projects's activities in its local community.

The colour timber-clad structure is an outdoor classroom, dyeing workshop, art studio, bird-watching hide, tree house and park shelter all rolled into one. Shutters of various sizes on the upper floor allow for activities ranging from quiet, hidden bird watching, and nature drawing workshops, to public events that spill out into the park. It is patterned with 'Joy' by graphic designers Nous Vous.

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Photo by Jim Stephenson

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Photo by Jim Stephenson

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Photo by Jim Stephenson