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Hereford City of Living Crafts

Part 1 Project 2003
James Aplin
Emma Robinson
University of the West of England Bristol UK
The project’s objective was to promote Hereford as the ‘City of Living Crafts’, through interventions at a macro and micro level. A master plan, split into day/night strategies, was created to resolve problems identified and enhance Hereford’s attractions. At a micro level, a craft gallery was to provide a focus for the craft community, with space to produce and exhibit craft. The design concept is the two approaches to craft: Machine-made craft and handmade craft, expressed through materiality, form and light. An internal street divides the two themes, and creates a visible link to the city’s concealed craft epicentre.
James Aplin
Emma Robinson


James has created an exciting and complex building to celebrate the flourishing tradition of craft in Hereford. He skilfully unlocks the potential of a narrow irregular site linking two of the city’s most interesting streets and deftly manipulates the boundary between public and private realms. During the day the sheer glass wall forming the main part of the façade to Broad Street -- is retracted and the building becomes a route. At night the building is a glittering showcase for the artefacts. The imagery draws upon two aspects of the idea of craft. The precision of the jeweller or joiner inspires the controlled geometry and crisp detailing of the northern element while the fluid forms of the timber southern element evokes the character of the natural materials so widely used in rural crafts. It is sophisticated building that is rooted in its context, informed by a thorough urban design analysis, and combines contemporary architectural imagery with sustainable design thinking.

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2003
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