The River Dart wraps around the Dartington Hall and Estate above Totnes in Devon. The Elmhirsts, Dorothy a wealthy heiress from Chicago, and Leonard from Yorkshire, were what would be called now social entrepreneurs and cultural innovators. They discovered the site in the 1920's and set up a series of educational, cultural and technological experiments which still continue today; from agrocology, to social justice, to new co-design approaches to affordable rural workspace and housing.
We have worked on a co-working concept for the core of the estate and on two sites for co-living down by the River Dart by the original old gatehouse and footpath to the station. The aim of all projects was to work with local materials from the estate and building skills in the immediate area. Working in this way new tectonic ideas, sustainable construction and inclusive practices of co-design and co-production would not only make the place particular and precious to future residents but would be a visible counterculture to mainstream development and housebuilding.