The Observatory Competition: SPUD Artists Venue

The Observatory Design Competition, Artist Shelter Contest, Southern England Architectural News

The Observatory Competition

SPUD GROUP Architecture Contest, UK Artists Venue – building for residency programme

7 Jan 2014

The Observatory Design Competition

The Observatory
a place to look in, a place to look out

The Observatory Competition Brief is now live and available to download at:!competition/c1n0f

The Observatory will create a unique and exciting sculptural and architectural structure, which is directly accessible by the public. It will offer artists the opportunity to engage with a specific place, providing space and shelter to undertake their investigations and share with an audience. It will be an inter-disciplinary project involving artists, other professionals and students providing creative learning opportunities throughout all phases.

Exbury Egg

SPUD has extensive experience in delivering a major artist residency programme – the Exbury Egg : The Exbury Egg has attracted genuinely global interest in the creation of a high quality and unique structure engages people. Most recently the Egg was featured on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces on Channel 4 TV in the UK.

The Observatory needs to intrigue people and act as a beacon that draws attention to a place – in this case 4 very special locations along southern England from the South Downs to the Tamar estuary. The Observatory will be movable, flexible and reconfigurable. It will offer opportunities for a variety of artists (working in differing media) to create new work in response to the special locations.

The two year programme will facilitate extensive opportunities for audiences to engage with the artists in an informal (non-gallery) setting. It will take art to new audiences in places where they would not normally encounter art, resulting in new encounters between artists, audiences and places. The Observatory will enable 12 artists to undertake close investigation covering geology, geography, heritage, social history, nature and environment, leading to interpretation and a richer perception of place, with the outcome being a piece of work(s) that can be shared with an audience.

At the end of its time in each location (6 months, 3 artists per location) there will be an exhibition in the local area. On culmination of the two year programme there will be a major conference in partnership with a UK University to unpack the shared learning from the programme.

The Observatory will provide significant opportunities for artists and audiences to engage in new places outside conventional galleries and within unique landscapes. This will be a substantial project for SPUD and builds directly on the success of the Exbury Egg. It will enable SPUD to consolidate its growing reputation as an innovative, influential and catalytic organisation, generating new partnerships and networks regionally, nationally and internationally.

Please register for the competition no later than 6th February 2014. If you have any questions about the brief and the competition generally, please send these [email protected]. Questions will close on the 6th Feb and responses will be posted online.

The brief, location information and outcomes of the Obsworkatory weekend are all available to download at the above link.

The closing date for all competition entries is 12 noon on Friday 28th February 2014. We welcome applications from teams of professional architects and artists and also from students. The competition is open to participants nationwide.

Please note that funding has not been secured yet for the construction of the Observatory. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the programme beyond the competition stage. However we are working very hard with funders and are confident we will secure funding and that this will be an incredibly exciting, innovative and engaging programme through into 2016.

This project simply would not be possible without the support of so many partners who have already committed time and funding to get us to this stage. For this we are very grateful.

The Observatory Competition information from SPUD GROUP via DB

Location:Saltash, England

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The Observatory Competition : page