The Arches at Aberfoyle, Hauna, Honde Valley

The Arches at Aberfoyle, Hauna, Honde Valley





Description: In 2018 APS were commissioned by Nyangani Renewable Resources to design an Art Gallery on the grounds of Aberfoyle Lodge, in Hauna, in the Honde Valley.

Challenge: The client had a clear idea of the size of the gallery space that was required, however the supplementary, ancillary spaces required our careful consideration and input. Several sites were considered, and eventually one was selected for its incredible views, and its proximity to the existing lodge. We were told that the gallery should be flexible enough to accommodate a variety of art (including pictures and sculptures of different sizes), and should be secure enough for high value works, as well as have a climate controlled environment that could cater to humidity / temperature sensitive works.

Solution: The first thing that we considered was the uniqueness of the site - Aberfoyle Lodge is located in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, nestled within a working tea estate, partially surrounded by temperate rainforest.

We envisaged the gallery building as a celebration of light and space, allowing the works of art to be showed off to best advantage, however we also wanted the building to be uniquely of its place and context. To this effect we oriented the gallery North East, towards the views of the distant golf course, tea terraces, and forested mountains.

The large concertina doors open up to a cantilevering balcony which stretches out towards the pond, where sunlight and panoramic views allow relief from the shaded rainforest.

Internally the curved roof segments are layered, and curved clerestory windows allow ambient light to flood the gallery space, and remind the occupants of the gallery’s context within the forest.

Programatically, we suggested that the building should be designed with flexible and multifunctional spaces in mind, so that it could be used both as an ‘Art Gallery’ as well as a ‘Conferencing’ or ‘Wedding Venue’ for up to 100 people. To this end a catering kitchen was incorporated in the layout, and storage rooms were designed as multi-use meeting / presentation rooms. The main gallery is formatted with movable screens and partitions so that art work can be moved and stored, to either make space for open plan layouts, or to compartmentalise and further define the spaces.

Mechanical and Electrical services are hidden within the buildings basement and routed invisibly up large cavity walls to the necessary rooms.

The Gallery was officially opened in November 2021, with the inaugural exhibition of The Stars are Bright, a collection of important art from the Cyrene Mission School.


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