De Rosee Sa were invited by collaborative project delivery group, SPUD (responsible for the delivery of the Exbury Egg and The Observatory) to prepare a feasibility study for the long-term use of their current work space, ArtSway, located within the New Forest National Park.

The ArtSway Centre for Visual Arts was the initiative of a group of local people in 1996, who wanted to convert an existing building in Sway into a local arts centre. Originally designed by Tony Fretton Architects, the building is in timber and attached to an existing 19th century stable. The Centre was among the first to receive Lottery funding and was used as a model of good practice by the Arts Council for many years. Since 2010, they have lost their Arts Council core funding, and so developed relationships with organisations with similar goals, of which SPUD was one. SPUD currently have their workspace in the building.

DRS’s architectural proposal accompanies SPUD’s business plan to identify opportunities that a creative refurbishment of the ArtSway building could achieve in the shorter and longer term. DRS worked with SPUD on different refurbishment options that investigate providing studios for creative businesses and makers, establishing a permanent office for SPUD and the feasibility of building studios for artists residencies. The aim is to form a vibrant creative hub for the New Forest by ensuring a sustainable income stream through the provision of studio space for hire. The creative hub will provide a programme of seminars, exhibitions and events for creative professionals and the public.

DRS have prepared and submitted their feasibility study, broken down into several delivery phases.