The design, engineering and carpentry of the Downland Gridshell is groundbreaking. Yet its gently curving form and natural materials sit beautifully in the surrounding South Downs landscape of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Sussex where the buildings and artefacts of traditional rural life are brought to life.
The Downland Gridshell is both a workshop for conservation, restoration and training, and also an archive store for tools and artefacts spanning six centuries. In the large open space of the upper level, the Museum’s carpenters can work on historic timber frames. It is also an ideal space for educational activities and events.
Below, sunken into the ground, an environmentally controlled store ensures long-term care of the collections, and 200 English vernacular wooden chairs are on display.