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Walmer Castle

Kent, UK. 2017 - ongoing

ARA were asked by English Heritage to design a new learning/events space & café at Walmer Castle in Kent. Built by Henry VIII as an artillery fort, since the 18th century Walmer has been the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. In this role it has been the scene for key events in the country’s history. Our design for the new building draws on the brooding qualities of the castle itself, the new architecture acting as an ‘interpretation’ of the site. Grey brick is used to synthesise the grey stone of the castle and the red brick of the existing outbuildings. Wider landscape works and interpretation form a key part of the project. A single very large window looks out into this historic landscape from the new learning space – conceived as a vitrine or museum display case, it establishes a critical distance between the viewer and the landscape, highlighting the visitor’s role as a participant in the construction of meaning. This HLF-funded project is due for completion in 2019.

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Walmer Castle