Suffolk Libraries is pleased to announce that Fox Yard Studio and Modece Architects have been chosen to transform Stowmarket Library’s garden space.
The project to create a brand-new garden space for the local community to enjoy is being funded by Arts Council England. The planning, design and building of the new space will now take place over the next few months with the aim of opening the space in the Autumn.
Inspired by the binding of a book, the theme of the new garden project will be called ‘Stitching Stowe’, weaving together the tales of the town and celebrating Stowmarket’s past, present and future. Suffolk Libraries will be collecting local stories and memories from the town’s residents which will be worked up into a series of murals throughout the garden.
The project aims to breathe new life into an unused area of the library whilst also promoting learning about environmental responsibility. The new space will also function as a shared workshop space, hosting group activities and live events. When the garden isn’t being used for library activity, it will also provide a pleasant outdoor space for customers to read and relax.
Fox Yard Studio is an up-and-coming creative space based in the heart of Stowmarket which also hosts an art gallery where local artists can sell their artwork as well as share their skills and stories with the public. Modece Architects are based next to Fox Yard Studio and are specialists in environmentally friendly and sustainable design. They have picked up three innovation awards this year and work across the residential, community and cultural sectors as well as undertaking research into new construction methods using hemp. Fox Yard Studio and Modece have teamed up to offer placements to young unemployed people in the local area under the government’s Kickstart Scheme.
Summer Lambert, Library and Information Advisor at Stowmarket Library said:
“We had so many fantastic applications for the garden project but Fox Yard Studio’s design really stood out to us and we are so excited to be working with them to develop an amazing space for our community.”
Samanta Bell, Founder of Fox Yard Studio, added:
“When I received the phone call saying that our design was chosen for Stowmarket Library’s Community Garden, there was excitement buzzing in the air as everyone in the studio eagerly awaited the news! We are absolutely thrilled to be taking part in such an inspiring project with the library.”
Matthew Bell, Director of Modece Architects, added:
“The Stowmarket Library project brings together all of our passions; sustainability, ecology, art, community involvement and town rejuvenation; and its right on our doorstep. We are very excited to be involved with the project and all the other participants.”
As well as involving Suffolk Libraries’ Arts Programme, the garden project will also run in partnership with local charities Red Gables and Thrive at The Mix. Red Gables will be bringing their experience and expertise in the wellbeing benefits of horticulture as well as seeds, compost, and greenhouse space, and Thrive will be supporting the project through co-designing a programme of activities for local young people aged 13-16 from local secondary schools.
The Stowmarket Garden Project will not only be created for the community, but by them too. The library will be hosting summer workshops for people to get involved in, including a sewing day, a painting day to create a colourful and abstract map of Stowmarket, as well as gardening and wildlife sessions.