Lewes Turkish Baths to get a makeover for Make Lewes Festival

The old Turkish Baths in Friars Walk, Lewes - owned by Lewes District Council, is to be given a new lease of life at the Make Lewes Festival of sustainable design, craft making and architecture starting at the end of September.

Lewes District Council has given the local community organisation Making Lewes permission to use the building on a temporary basis between September 9 and  October 8 2016. 

Local design expert William Hardie of Studio Hardie, Lewes, and Sally Daniels from the University of West of England’s Architecture Department will lead a team of up to thirty-five festival participants to meet the exciting challenge of refitting the old building and converting it into a festival venue in just 5 days. To add to their challenge, the team will be using recycled materials available in the building and around the area.

William Hardie said, “Refitting the beautiful old Turkish Baths into a festival venue using recycled materials and geodesic theories will be a great opportunity for students, professionals and amateurs to work together and test out their ideas on a joint project.  Although it will be a temporary installation, it will be fascinating to see what we come up with and we are very grateful to Lewes District Council for giving us this creative opportunity.”

Councillor Bill Giles, Lead Member for Finance at Lewes District Council said: “It is a pleasure to be able to support the Make Lewes Festival in such an innovative way.  The Turkish Baths is an historic building full of potential. With so many creative thinkers attending the festival, it will be very interesting to see the outcome of their work.”
Make Lewes Festival will take place across town from 24 September until 2 October and is open to experts and anyone with an interest in design, architecture and crafts. Festival participants will be able to explore how new technologies, including robotics, 3D printers and CNC routers are changing our understanding of craft and making, hear talks from local and international experts and join in other design challenges.

Speakers at the festival include Guan Lee on his Clay Robotics work at the Grymsdyke Farm workshop, Jon Minchin from Vallidaura Green Fab Lab in Spain, and Isabelle Risner of at Westminster University speaking about the European Research Project Digital DIY.  Adam Richards, architect of the Ditchling Arts + Crafts Museum, and David Smith, expert in building with flint and winner of the 2016 Royal institute of British Architects House of the Year, shown on Grand Designs will also be speaking at the festival. 

There will also be expert talks by local craft makers including calligraphers, stringed instrument makers, book binders, ceramicists, and exhibitions of local basket makers.

For more information about the festival, please visit www.makinglewes.org

Story published on 08 September 2016