22 November 2023

Designing a rural writers retreat

Jonathan Tuckey Design have completed an outline proposal to redefine a Grade I listed abbey, set within the rich ecological landscape of south-west England.

The existing manor house is an amalgamation of 15th and 16th century medieval structures that adjoin internally through a labyrinth of circulation corridors and partitions. Recent years of neglect and an unsympathetic residential conversion may have dampened this lively character but certainly not obscured its potential. Alongside restoration, the collaged interior is in need of streamlining, befitting of a modern retreat for writers, charitable organisations and academics.

Under this new guise, the abbey will once again be representative of the many voices and influences that contributed to such a rich built fabric. The proposal re-establishes a quadrangle as an integral point for reflection, harnessing the affinity between abbey and outdoors. A variety of accommodation typologies will tailor to the needs of guests as well as their duration of stay. A restored grand hall, events theatre, flexible workspace, library and gallery are among the communal spaces performing as a backdrop for collaboration and discourse.

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