Emerson College, Forest Row
This is phase two of our work at Emerson. Emerson College first moved to Pixton Hill in July 1967. The campus is named after the American writer, philosopher and social reformer Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1892). His first published essay was significantly entitled ‘Nature’ and made the claim that all truths ultimately could be learnt from the natural world. The ideas that form the basis of the courses run at Emerson College are derived mainly from the work of the Austrian Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925). Pixton House has a concealed core that is pre-Georgian, but was heavy modified and extended during the Victorian period and is now listed Grade II. The design decisions for the internal conversion into small living units, seek to rectify those interventions that compromise the original rooms and make as little impact as possible on the historic fabric. The social objective is to provide relatively compact and ‘affordable’ living units for the elderly with a range of unit sizes of either studio apartments or one-bedroom flats. The original room sizes and plan forms suit this approach. The necessary bathrooms and kitchens are conceived of as pieces of furniture, constructed in timber panelling with minimal contact with the historical fabric. Where these are inserted, we have adopted an ‘encapsulation’ approach for mouldings, skirtings and architraves. In the rest of the room the existing features are retained. The various 20th century extensions to the north of the house will be removed and replaced by what is effectively a mews block, thereby creating a communal courtyard.
Design Team: Nic Pople, Sophie Woodhatch, Muneeb Ali Khan, Serena Evans, George Sinclair
Planning Consultants: Kemble Loudon Williams
Archaeological Consultants: Archaeology SE