A grant of £80,000 was made by the Foundation towards the Weald & Downland’s conservation workshop and store for the museum’s collection of tools and artefacts. The Weald & Downland Gridshell, incorporating the Jerwood Gridshell Space was designed by Ted Cullinan (1931-2019) and was the project for which he was best known.
Commissioned in the late 1990s, the architect's brief was to design a building that woudl be in keeping both with the Museum's downland location and its agricultural roots. The resulting curved shell-like structure, constructed from a grid-work of slender oak laths was the first 'gridshell' of its kind in the UK.
Forming the upper level of the Weald & Downland Gridshell, the Jerwood Gridshell Space combines innovative design with superb craftsmanship and provides a vast workshop space in which historic timber-framed buildings can be laid out for conservation and repair. The open access space is also used for demonstrations and training workshops.
Few buildings have won such universal approbation. The ingenuity of its design and fabrication and unorthodox construction were recognised with numerous awards, including the prestigious RIBA Regional Architectural Award, and was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize and Gulbenkian Prize in 2002.
Photo: The Jerwood Gridshell Space
Photo: Jerwood Gridshell Space, Weald & Downland Living Museum