Studio Weave’s The Ecology of Colour is a timber-clad structure – outdoor classroom, dyeing workshop, art studio, bird-watching hide, tree house and park shelter, designed to bring public function to Ecology Island, on a neglected corner of the 26-acre Central Park in Dartford, Kent. The Ecology of Colour is the third Artlands public realm commission for North Kent The two-storey building is open on the ground floor and an workshop on the first floor to study the environment. The colourful building is jolly custodian for the re-imagined park proposed as part of a programme of events and workshops based around dyeing and wildlife. The small building provides flexible accommodation for these activities including the planting of a meadow of flowers and vegetables that yield natural dyes and beckon wildlife. Studio Weave have worked in collaboration with a horticulturalist on a planting scheme of traditional plants native to the South of England such as Golden Rod, Alder and Bugloss which produce red, yellow and blue dyes, to be be installed in Spring 2013. On the 144 external panels a decorative heraldic motif pattern called Joy was designed by graphic designers Nous Vous, and painted prior to its installation with a team of local residents and artists in a series of workshops with Nous Vous.
Studio Weave – Je Ahn and Maria Smith – is a London-based architecture practice set up in 2006. Described by Hugh Pearman as “One of the best of the new wave of psychogeographically-inclined young practices” RIBA Journal. Recent projects include: Lullaby Factory, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London; The Ecology of Colour, Dartford; Kintiandi Pavilion, Shanghai; Paleys Upon Piliers, Aldgate, London; St Pancras Church Garden, London; Hear Heres, Kedleston Hall, Derby; The Floating Cinema, London; The Longest Bench, Littlehampton.
Artlands is a contemporary art programme which explores North Kent’s identity through a series of public realm commissions – responding to and engaging with the unique qualities of the area; its landscapes, its heritage and its people. Artlands is working on four commissions within the region.
The Ecology of Colour is commissioned by Artlands North Kent, supported by the Homes and Communities Agency, Arts Council England, Kent County Council, European Union Interreg IVB and Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway. It is hosted by Dartford Borough Council.
Ecology of Colour, Ecology Island, Central Park, Dartford, Market Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1EU