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Bathaus by Studio Weave

A public artwork, designed by Studio Weave, commissioned to design a new bat house on the site of an abandoned 19th century cottage.    

Background

Loughborough University is home to one of the UK's largest science and enterprise parks which continues to grow. Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks (LUSEP) has expanded significantly since the University acquired the site from British Gas in 2003. As part of the redevelopment plans in 2015, LU Arts were invited to commission a project to develop a suitable design providing a unique new habitat for bats residing in an abandoned building.

The new 'bat house' builds upon the University's track record of initiating innovative schemes for supporting and extending the biodiversity of the campus, to create a rich tapestry of flora and fauna.

Rather than design a new build Studio Weave, a London-based architectural practice, proposed to adapt the existing structure to the needs of its residents. They refer to this project as a “curated reduction” - rather than provide a new roosting structure, Studio Weave instead carved away sections of the building that were no longer needed.

Curated Reduction

The design has been driven by a fascination in the evolution of the cottage over time, and there are traces in its built fabric reflecting the collective memory of many beings. At present, this cottage is characterised by the habitation of a colony of bats. Their choice to make the cottage their home is respected and the adaptation of the cottage for their future needs are seen as the main driver for the project. 

Rather than providing a new roosting structure, which often comes with risks, Studio Weave's designs preserve the existing roosting whilst revitalising and strengthening the memory and physical narrative of the place. The functions and materials which are no longer necessary are removed whilst additional elements will be added to emphasise and support the building’s future needs, both for the resident bats and their human neighbours.

Studio Weave

Founded in 2006, Studio Weave is an award-winning RIBA Chartered Architecture Practice based in London. Their practice is based on their balance between a joyful, open-minded approach with technical precision. Their portfolio of projects is diverse, they work in the UK and abroad for public, private and commercial clients.

For more information: www.studioweave.com

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Loughborough University Arts

Martin Hall Building

Loughborough University

Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK

luarts@lboro.ac.uk

01509 222 881

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