Landscape Insight December 2017 - Page 32

LEARNING CURVE RACHAEL EMOUS-AUSTIN learning curve Rachael Emous-Austin, landscape architect hile the pavilion had attracted funding, the Entrance Way scheme as proposed by Land Use Consultants, connecting the building to the museum itself, was struggling. Our initial role was to devise a ‘marketable’ design to attract funding. Our proposals replaced the previous scheme of a lift and steps, with a ramped route representing a journey into the garden, the paths forming a multi-use amphitheatre space. This scheme was awarded funding and the ‘missing link’ to the building was realised. Signiicantly, we engaged with the volunteer group who worked alongside the contractor to the west of the garden, creating the community space and orchard area from a ‘how-to’ handbook we produced. Throughout the implementation of the project we worked in collaboration with our client team including artist Cleo Mussi, who donated many of the plants from her garden, our consultants and contractor. The museum now has a living experience for their visitors and a space in which to educate and entertain throughout the seasons. The town has its very own secret garden, crammed full of beautiful, colourful plants, fully accessible and free to visit throughout the year; something quite unique to the area. This garden is contemporary in feel yet domestic in scale, with many attributes of a private garden. In terms of displaying what landscape architecture can achieve in a public realm it is very diferent to the more usual town square or parking scheme and would elevate the profession in terms of garden Rachel Emous-Austin design. W 32 Landscape Insight | December 2017 It has exceeded the brief and our clients have found many more uses for the garden and pavilion than they could have imagined. Sustainability and robustness have been considered when choosing materials for the scheme and includes; local sweet chestnut for the benches, re-use of the old stone pavers and new limestone sourced from France and copper detailing to match the building which is fully recyclable. The orchard trees are heritage varieties and sourced from Gloucestershire Orchard Trust, under-sown with wildlower mix, the majority of herbaceous plants have been donated from the Stroud area. All craftspeople were local to the area. The problem of getting safely and elegantly from the museum entrance to the pavilion, a height of 3.5m, within a relatively small space was a challenge. Additionally, we were designing a scheme with no funding at the time and a very high spec brief to match the pavilion. Financial control was a huge consideration when designing the space. However, we encouraged our client to spend some money on an electrical supply circuit which would future proof the garden. Money was found to implement the sensitive lighting scheme, and the garden is now being used for evening events and corporate entertainment; providing the museum with a much needed additional income stream, allowing them to remain a free venue. Visitors to the garden audibly express a sense of awe when entering the space for the irst time. They continue to visit to see the planting evolve through the seasons; taking ideas away to recreate at home. The garden has become a real community resource that will continue to develop for years to come. The real joy of this project has been to work with our client’s team, and a host of stakeholders and volunteers, to develop and evolve th ȁɽЁѡɽ՝ѡ)́չх)ɽɕЁѼٕȁ)ѕɽЁݡ́)ɔѡ݅́ѡ՝Ёͥ)ѡ͕и