Chiswick House The Cedar Yards, London

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Chiswick House The Cedar Yards

5 March 2024

Design: We Made That

Location: Chiswick House & Gardens, Burlington Ln, Chiswick, London W4 2RP, England, United Kingdom

Plans revealed for new community and creative uses at historic Chiswick House and Gardens.

We Made That has imagined a series of new facilities and repurposed underused spaces.

The project aims to open up areas for community use and provide a more sustainable future for Chiswick House and Gardens Trust.

Chiswick House The Cedar Yards, London

Chiswick House The Cedar Yards by We Made That

Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, a charitable organisation, has unveiled plans for a number of new community, creative and learning facilities across its historic Gardens in West London.

Under the proposals by We Made That, various internal and external ‘back of house’ areas, including currently underused spaces, will be enhanced as part of this ambitious project to open up access for the public and as a means of creating new uses that will support a more sustainable income in the future.

The Cedar Yards volunteer base:
Chiswick House The Cedar Yards, London

We Made That identified 14 projects within an initial placemaking strategy, four of which will be delivered in the first phase of works:

• The Learning Hub is a new net zero, indoor space enabling horticultural and creative learning activities for 7,000+ participants annually, alongside office and social space for staff, gardeners and volunteers. Additionally, an external spill out space brings a historic horticultural working areas back into use as a new learning and activity space.

• A new Volunteer Base provides a practical amenity space to support over 200 volunteers, who play a key part in maintaining the House and Gardens for the public to enjoy.

• The Fruit Garden involves the conversion of a currently unused and overgrown late 17th Century ‘secret’ walled garden to provide a new outdoor garden for local groups, schools, and families to participate in horticulture-themed activities throughout the year.

• The Creative Campus involves the conversion of the currently underused historic Back Sheds and Stables to create affordable workspaces for up to 100 artists and makers.

The Cedar Yards approach from the conservatory:
Chiswick House The Cedar Yards, London

Chiswick House and Gardens is regarded as the birthplace of the English Landscape movement. The productive and back of house areas reflect important moments in 17th and 18th century garden history. The House, Conservatory and Gardens are all Grade-I listed, and interventions are carefully designed to be both sustainable and sensitive to the historic context.

These new proposals have been developed through extensive community engagement, from identifying projects in the initial placemaking plan, to identifying desired uses and architectural ambitions for the priority projects. Stakeholder engagement and consultation activities have included public events, focused group workshops and ‘meet the architects’ sessions.

The Cedar Yards approach from the Deer House:
Chiswick House The Cedar Yards, London

We Made That’s proposals seek to respond to the historic context, whilst adopting sustainable materials and construction. Natural materials are used extensively, including cross-laminated and rough sawn timber structures, and charred timber cladding for the Learning Hub and Volunteer Base. Additionally, photovoltaic panels above the buildings contribute to the proposals achieving carbon net zero targets.

The missing historic wall around Fruit Garden will be reinstated, whilst new planting will increase biodiversity to create a lush and verdant environment, whilst referencing its historic use.

In the Creative Campus, new roof insulation, heating and servicing will provide a more sustainable comfortable thermal environment, and light-touch internal partitions will minimise the impact on the existing buildings and maximise flexibility for the artists and makers.

Holly Lewis, Co-founding Director at We Made That, said:
“Chiswick House and Gardens is a special place, where nature and history are celebrated side by side. Our proposals, developed in close collaboration with local community groups, are designed to be simultaneously low and high impact. Low in the sense that we are seeking to preserve the estate’s historic value and minimise the environmental cost; and high through the effect it has on the way people experience and enjoy the spaces.”

The Cedar Yards Spill Out Space
Chiswick House The Cedar Yards, London

Xanthe Arvanitakis, Director of Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, said:
“We are excited to be re-working ‘back of house’ areas to fulfil local needs and bringing these historic spaces back to life. This ambitious project has been designed to directly impact the wellbeing of our local community as well as enhancing cultural and creative enterprise activity in London Borough of Hounslow. By creating more public green spaces for local people we can expand our learning and community programme which is currently running at capacity. With the introduction of affordable workspaces for artists and makers we will foster a local creative economy and generate much needed new income for the Trust.”

Taz Virdee, Chief Executive of C-Change West London and Director at Elevate Community Productions said:
“Chiswick House and Gardens’ remarkable outreach efforts have touched lives across our borough, bridging gaps and enhancing diversity. Local partnerships with community groups, schools and charities create inspiring spaces that nurture connections to greenery and heritage, elevating wellbeing and combating isolation. The new facilities of the Cedar Yards development will bring even greater benefits to our residents from Heston and Cranford, particularly the enhanced facilities for disabled and elderly participants. Special recognition to Harvinder Bahra for her exceptional support in uniting communities, with gratitude for the funding that made this possible. Thank you and we look forward to continuing working together.”

The proposals have been submitted to London Borough of Hounslow for consideration at planning committee, anticipated in early 2024.

We Made That

We Made That is a practice of architects, urban designers and researchers creating equitable places through incisive research and impactful projects. We work exclusively for the public sector and charities and are committed to delivering public good. We Made That was established in 2006 and became a Certified B Corporation in 2021. We deliver projects across the UK from offices in London and Manchester.

Chiswick House and Gardens Trust

Chiswick House & Gardens Trust is a registered charity (no. 1109239) which manages the Grade I-listed Chiswick House, a Neo-Palladian villa designed by the Third Earl of Burlington inspired by his grand tours of Italy, and the 65-acre Grade I, award-winning Gardens and 21 listed garden buildings and statues, on behalf of English Heritage and London Borough of Hounslow. Chiswick House & Gardens are internationally recognised as a place of historic significance in architectural and garden history. https://chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk/

Chiswick House Gardens image / information received 050324

Address: Burlington Lane, London W4 2RP, UK

Phone: 0870 333 1181

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Website-: www.chgt.org.uk