By Dan Thompson
A Margate design studio celebrates after working on a project that won a prestigious architectural award.
HKD designed a permanent exhibition for God’s House Tower (GHT) in Southampton, which won a regional award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
The RIBA judges said: “For the first time in several hundred years, the public can now access GHT and a new route has been created through the building which allows everyone to experience its rich history as vital element of the defenses of the medieval ramparts. ”
Key to this experience is the HKD-designed exhibit explaining the history of the building and its role in the city’s defenses. The exhibit chronicles the lives of criminals, artillerymen, pilgrims, and traders that the 700-year-old building once housed. HKD worked alongside Canterbury-based Purcell, the project’s conservation architects.
GHT is now occupied by arts organization A Space Arts, which coincidentally commissioned Ramsgate artist Emily Peasgood to make When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship. The new artwork and installation takes the form of a song, played through loudspeakers in the gallery space, exploring Southampton’s complex relationship with the sea. Covering a period of over 400 years , the song’s lyrical content explores the city’s ever-changing coastline, from the 1600s to the present day and into the future.
Directors Rick Houghton and Kate Kneale founded HKD in 2000 and moved their business to Margate in 2009 – opening Marine Studios at the same time. Houghton had worked under Festival of Britain designer James Gardiner and Kneale had worked in television and theatre.
Marine Studios in Albert Terrace was designed to reflect HKD’s interest in curiosity and inquiry and it launched the regular First Friday events, where artists, writers and audiences come together to explore a subject.
To find out more about HKD’s work at GHT and to see their other international projects, visit www.hkd.uk.com