Project description: Conversion of former Brewery into Artists Atelier / Craft Workshops
Contract Sum : Unknown
In the 1980s a group of local artists and crafts people set up a syndicate known as Manor Eagle, to purchase and develop the old Beards Brewery in Lewes. In 1987 we were commissioned to draw up a scheme to convert the building into 18 workshops with a communal gallery, located over 5 floors, including a vaulted chalk cellar.
The design process was a complex one, involving Grade II Listed Building consent and Building Regulations, for refurbishment / conversion of the building, including the design of two main staircases which link all the various levels, whilst providing fire protection and escape. The project was unique in that the work was largely undertaken in-house by the trustees in order to save money. The budget was also very tight, resulting in a pared down, workaday aesthetic, in keeping with the building's original use.
Today the Star Gallery is a popular venue for a local artists and crafts people, with studio activities ranging from painting, pottery, sculpture, glass blowing and architecture, to book binding, framing, instrument making (Luthiers), and psychotherapy.
Within the complex, the Hop Gallery provides a creative communal environment for resident artists to display and sell their work, as well as a venue for incoming artists to exhibit their work. It has also been used for musical soirees and to display major exhibitions, such as paintings by the surrealist, Joan Miro.
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