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DSDHA wins architectural competition at Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Hertfordshire

A wooden barn with large glass windows sits in a field of sheep, with trees behind.

Henry Moore Foundation is delighted to announce that leading architecture and urban design practice DSDHA has been appointed to conduct the architectural redevelopment of a dedicated learning and exhibition space at Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, the former Hertfordshire home of sculptor Henry Moore. DSDHA will transform the existing Sheep Field Barn Gallery into an exciting space for learning and engagement activities as well as modernising the existing display spaces.

Henry Moore was passionate about education and one of his reasons for setting up the Foundation was to continue communicating enthusiasm for sculpture and the arts in general.

The Foundation’s education programme has developed substantially over the years: at Henry Moore Studios & Gardens we welcome over 2000 school children per annum and offer a varied programme of drop-in workshops, educational talks and tours for people of all ages. The building that is most suitable to adapt and extend for learning and engagement activities is the Sheep Field Barn, located in the heart of the Moore estate.

The ambition is to develop and add a modest extension to the existing building to provide state-of-the-art facilities to run a wide-ranging engagement programme, from school workshops to academic talks, which would cater for all segments of our audience and provide greater opportunities for engagement. The new space will display Moores work, create two state of the art education spaces, facilitate views of the sheep fields beyond the barn and contribute to the Foundation’s aspiration to become carbon net zero.

One hand holds a black model depicting the current gallery, on a wooden base; above it, a second hand holds a white model showing the redevelopment, hovering over the black model.
Architectural model of the proposed redevelopment of the Sheep Field Barn Gallery.

“DSDHA stood out for us at tender because of their sympathetic approach to the environment, their connection to Henry Moore and the ambition of their sustainable approach to our project, combined with their impressive track record.”­

Lesley Wake, CEO at Henry Moore Foundation

 

“Our redevelopment aims to create an inclusive and welcoming environment that appeals to and nurtures all visitors. Our approach for the barn, inspired by Moore’s ethos of no nonsense frugality, interrogates each design decision through a lens of sustainability at every scale. The design will offer constant views of nature, to anchor and create a considered­ backdrop to the work, home and studios of Henry Moore and the Foundation today”.

Deborah Saunt, Founding Director at DSDHA

DSDHA is an architecture, urban design and spatial research studio, whose internationally acclaimed work spans from crafting beautiful and sustainable buildings, welcoming landscapes and whole new neighbourhoods. DSDHA aim to foster positive change in the built environment and to empower communities, creating social value through collaboration and meaningful engagement. Recent projects include; National Youth Theatre, Exchange Square, Royal Albert Hall public realm, Edmund de Waal Studio and Gallery and the refurbishment of London’s iconic Economist Plaza in St James.

Having established the Henry Moore Foundation in 1977, Moore gifted the grounds, buildings, and contents of his 70-acre estate in Perry Green, Hertfordshire to the Foundation. The charity continues to conserve and present his work at Henry Moore Studios & Gardens in the setting in which it was created. The Foundation also upholds Moore’s commitment to education and learning and welcomes schools bringing 2,000 students, free of charge, to the Studios & Gardens every year.

With the arrival of a recently appointed Engagement Curator, the Henry Moore Foundation is keen to deepen engagement with visiting schools and other educational groups, special needs education students, young adults and academic groups. These activities are currently limited due to the lack of suitable learning spaces at a time when demand is increasing, and the redevelopment will allow the organisation to better tell the story of one of Britain’s most acclaimed artists in an accessible and engaging way.

Notes to editors

About DSDHA

DSDHA is an architecture, urban design and spatial research studio, established by Deborah Saunt and David Hills.

Known for their high-profile urban strategies, landscapes and innovative buildings, often in complex historic environments, as well as widely-acclaimed research, they have been recognised with 19 RIBA Awards to date, shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize, and twice nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.

Blurring the boundaries between infrastructure, landscape, architecture and art, their work is the result of extensive dialogue with communities, stakeholders and collaborators to deliver projects that have the broadest impact.

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