“The boardwalk will become an example of contemporary vernacular design that absorbs the needs of local people and wildlife, and expresses the distinctiveness of the landscape.”
Clementine Blakemore is lead artist in the collaborative design and assembly of the new timber boardwalk and outdoor community space at the Kingcombe Centre, a wildlife reserve and educational site owned by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. With biodiversity at the centre of the design and make process, the structure is rooted in the local context, sensitive to both local human and wildlife communities. All the Douglas fir and western red cedar used to build the structure was sourced from Hooke Park (a nearby woodland managed by the Architectural Association) and Pullabrook in the Bovey Valley, Devon, a woodland managed by the Woodland Trust.
Clementine is an architectural designer with an interest in the relationship between design, making and place. She has a background in sculpture and film, and was educated at the University of Oxford, the Rural Studio, the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Art. The boardwalk project in Dorset is part of Raise the Roof, a collaborative research project initiated by Common Ground which seeks to explore ways in which contemporary forms of architecture and design can emerge through a meaningful engagement with the landscape, culture and people of a particular locality.
Along with local volunteers and a group of international art and architectural students from the Architectural Association Visiting School, Clementine’s boardwalk project is co-designed by Alex Thomas with the support of structural engineers Cameron Veitch and Peter Laidler of Structure Workshop. Rooted to the belief in learning through making, the boardwalk is a social and educational event rather than simply a building project with a means to an end.