Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Moving day finally came!

On the 13th July 2016 we moved in to our beautiful new Artists Centre, funded in large part by Creative Scotland, now aptly named the Jacobs Building after Cove Park’s founders Eileen and Peter Jacobs. We’ve spent the last couple of weeks unpacking, settling in and getting to know the place; there are a lot more rooms and doors than we’re used to!

At the heart of the new building is a welcoming communal space - the Snug and adjoining kitchen - for the resident artists and visitors to meet, relax in, read, cook or simply enjoy the stunning views. One wall is beautifully decorated with a flight of Swallows, a piece by our very own Craft Producer and ceramicist Dawn Youll.

In addition we now have a 79sq meter room named The Monument Trust Room (named after one of our major funders), with wooden floors designed with group activity, movement, screenings and presentations in mind, the 40 sq meter Robertson Room (named after our other major funder and in which we have been had several dinners for over 30 guests), a Library and IT area. These extra facilities allow the building to offer much more in the way of flexible spaces, able to perform multiple functions at any one time.

We also have two new units of accommodation and two new studios at the top of the site, increasing our capacity to accommodate twelve residents on site at any one time.

While the centre is new and impressive it still seems to have retained the old Cove Park charm, which has much to do with CameronWebster Architects’s sensitive design of the interior space, and windows that cleverly frame the rural landscape that surrounds the site.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank architects Cameron Webster, Clark Contracts, our Quantity Surveyor Doig & Smith, Project Manager Catharine Kidd and all involved in this ambitious project. Without the support of Creative Scotland, many trusts, foundations and individuals it would not have been possible, and we are hugely grateful.

Images by Ruth Clark.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Emergence of the new Artist Centre

A lot has happened on the Artist Centre construction site over the last 4 months, and as we excitedly wait for the fast approaching completion date Project Manager Catharine Kidd gives us a progress update....

With just three months to go before the opening of the new Artist Centre at Cove Park in July, the building has really taken shape and form since the last blog.  The building envelope is complete, and it is now possible to get a real sense of what it will look like from the outside with the cladding, black metal roof and large picture windows.  The spaces that have been created inside have been taking our breath away with the views that they are capturing, as is the volume and flow of the spaces.   Over the next couple of months the larch cladding will be finished, the internal finishes will be completed, the new biomass boiler installed, electrical works and plumbing completed as well as the new car parking areas laid.  Cove Park are busy preparing furniture lists and making all important decisions on kitchen taps and worktops ready to furnish and fit-out the new centre in June.

A view from the new building within the treeline from the existing pods.

New studios and accommodation at the end of the new building with warm larch cladding, and windows out across Loch Long.

View of the west and south elevations showing the majority of the new Artist spaces (from left end of the    building – studios and accommodation, offices, meeting room (on the corner), snug and dining area, and part     of the common room. 

View from new entrance area to snug (left) and the new meeting room (right).

Friday, 11 December 2015

The walls are almost up

Last week, our Capital Project Manager Catharine Kidd, picked a better day to visit the Artist Centre construction site. With most of the walls up and the skies overhead brighter and clearer than of late, Catharine shares with us her update, including an insight into the wonderful views visitors to the new building in 2016 can expect to experience:
View from the scaffold of the new accommodation and studio units
The walls are almost up and whilst we wait for the roof to arrive, the shape of the new Artist Centre building is really emerging now.  The internal walls are defining the spaces within and the generous window openings from the communal areas are being formed from large bits of steel, to maximise on those great views out over Loch Long.  The new artist accommodation and studios are really shaping up with the roof expected to be up by Christmas.

Below are further images from Catharine's visits to the site in late November.
View towards the new accommodation and studios, the big openings waiting for the French doors
View towards the main frontage of the building and entrance, from a very muddy area that will become a welcoming courtyard

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Another Green World

Another Green World: Linn Botanic Gardens, Encounters with a Scottish Arcadia is a beautiful new book on one of Scotland's most impressive botanical gardens located on the Rosneath Peninsula, just a short drive from Cove Park.

Since encountering Linn during her residency at Cove Park in 2011, artist Alison Turnbull has worked with award-winning writer Philip Hoare on realising the publication. Alison's photographs and drawings and Philip's essay in the book are complemented by local photographer Ruth Clark's stunning images of the Gardens.

Cove Park have a limited number of books available for sale on our website and for this weekend only from the Cove & Kilcreggan Book Festival 2015. Proceeds from the sale of each book purchased from us will be donated to Linn Botanic Gardens.

Another Green World in the press
'A beautifully crafted artwork.'
Timothy Mowl, Times Higher Education, 5 November 2015

'The book is a unique representation of the garden's place in the landscape... A work of art in itself.'
Marianne Taylor, The Herald, 24 October 2015

'Linn Botanic Gardens: A Scottish Arcadia - in pictures'
Philip Hoare, The Guardian, 15 October 2015

Cove Park and Linn Gardens, Alison Turnbull, October 2015
'Artists find a Cove Park residency inviting because it comes with no specific requirements or rules of engagement - other than the opportunity for ‘inspired thinking’.

I arrived at Cove Park in the summer of 2011 with the intention of developing a new group of paintings and drawings.  Little did I realise that there, on its doorstep, I would also discover a unique and idiosyncratic botanic garden that would prompt me to new ways of working and lead to a collaboration with a writer, a photographer and an ecologist - not to mention two botanists, Jim Taggart and his son Jamie, the creators – and curators – of Linn Botanic Gardens.

These encounters resulted in the publication Another Green World - Linn Botanic Gardens published by Art/Books in association with Cove Park, designed by A Practice For Everyday Life and generously funded by Creative Scotland.

Working on the book has been an absorbing experience. After Jamie’s tragic disappearance in Vietnam in 2013 we decided – with Jim’s blessing – to continue with the project. If Another Green World – the book, and the exhibition that accompanies it at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh – help in some small way to safeguard the future of Linn Gardens, it will give me great satisfaction.'

Another Green World is published by Art/Books and supported by Creative Scotland and Historic Scotland

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Landscape and poly tunnel research recce at Kilfinan

Last week we visited the amazing growing spaces at Kilfinan Community Forest in Tighnabruaich. Despite the torrential rain and grey skies we ventured around the allotments and spent time finding out about the huge success they’ve had with their poly tunnel, now its own social enterprise Kyles Allotment Group. We were also treated to a visit to their new hydroelectric generator and sites for camping, crofting and affordable housing built from timber from the land. Thanks to Nikki Brown and Sara McLean for showing us around and imparting words of wisdom!

We are still considering how to move forward with our plans for the 50-acre Cove Park site and we will let you know how our plans develop.

Friday, 13 November 2015

New visualisation of Artist Centre's exterior

A new visualisation of the Artist Centre's exterior by Cameron Webster Architects arrived in our inbox this week. It is great to see what the building will look like and get a sense of its scale and context in the landscape. The spring meadow in the foreground anticipates completion of the building in April 2016 and certainly brightens up the grey wintery (yes it has arrived!) day we are experiencing on the peninsula today.

Read more about the Clark Contracts' construction of the building on Scottish Construction Now.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Beginning to take shape

Our Capital Project Manager Catharine Kidd, braved today's dreich weather to provide us with a construction update: 

The new building is really beginning to take shape with the sub walls and the beam and block floor structure now in place (brought in by the crane featured in an earlier post). The footprint and elevation of the new building can really be seen as the outline of the new spaces emerge from the muddy ground. On a good day (not today!), the views out across Loch Long that the new building will embrace can already be appreciated. We are anticipating the arrival and erection of the timber frame of the building over the next few weeks, the sole plates for fixing this are already in place.

Foundations of new accommodation units and studios.

View across footprint of snug and meeting room (not a good day for appreciating the views!)
View of the new building from ground level.