Heligan – A New Future for Cornwall’s Lost Garden
Heligan – A New Future for Cornwall’s Lost Garden
Heligan – A New Future for Cornwall’s Lost Garden
Heligan – A New Future for Cornwall’s Lost Garden
Heligan – A New Future for Cornwall’s Lost Garden

Mevagissey, Cornwall

Heligan – A New Future for Cornwall’s Lost Garden

Location

The Lost Gardens of Heligan


Services

Heligan’s contemporary focus is to work with nature, accepting and respecting it and protecting and enhancing the variety of habitats with which our project is endowed.  Mei Loci were tasked with identifying the opportunities for this future and forming a framework masterplan from which future restorations and conservation can take place. 

Ramon Van de Velde, Managing Director of Heligan said:

‘The masterplan for Heligan’s future is an exciting opportunity for us, which will unlock many opportunities which are key for us to take to ensure the sustainability of our gardens. 

The new Heligan Hive Campus will be great for our organisational culture, for bringing people together; for creating a space for learning; and to unlock other opportunities for restoration around our site. These plans ensure that now we can not only make progress but also do that in a way that everybody can be proud of and fits the beautiful historic environment we are here to protect.’   

Heligan Healing… Heligan Learning…  This is a place for well-being, education, culture, togetherness, health, restoration, gardens, food, community, and wildlife. We have spent a long time on the design of the building, working alongside StudioArc. Re-using & repurposing an existing structure, which would have otherwise been demolished, is important from a sustainability point of view. And to turn a building, which is currently not pretty, into a real living Heligan building is a challenge we took on and in our view, succeeded in. The external spaces are as important as the interior, where a former nursery site is re-designed to become a hub for well-being and learning. 

‘Heligan Masterplan is an exciting process for the Lost gardens, which unlocks many opportunities. The remodelled entrances, restoration of the historic buildings, and the new Heligan Campus will ensure the future sustainability of our gardens. The Campus will encourage a stronger organisational culture, bringing people together; and creating a space for collaboration; and unlocking other opportunities to promote 'Heligan Learning' and 'Heligan Healing'.
We have spent a long time on the design of the building. Re-using an existing structure, which would have otherwise been demolished, is important from a sustainability point of view. And to turn a building, which is currently not pretty, into a real Heligan building is a challenge we took on, working with Studio Arc. A consultation process also took place with neighbours, visitors and other interested parties, to ensure we can not only make progress but also do that in a way that everybody can be proud of and is fitting for the beautiful historic environment we are here to protect.’



Heligan – A New Future for Cornwall’s Historic Lost Garden.  

Heligan’s contemporary focus is to work with nature, accepting and respecting it and protecting and enhancing the variety of habitats with which our project is endowed.  Mei Loci were tasked with identifying the opportunities for this future and forming a framework masterplan from which future restorations and conservation can take place. 

Our masterplan process began by assessing the site and its context, its sense of place. With conservation principles in mind, the Victorian farm and garden estates, with their picturesque Cornish sub-tropical valley landscapes were an amazing canvas on which to form new ideas. We needed to understand where the place came from and how it works today, to shape a vision for its future.  There were some integral landscape design decisions to be made:  Where people arrive at the site did not work, and where the gardeners and workers were housed around the site was poorly considered. There were opportunities to change this, and it was clear that where new and old meet on this historic site, should appear deliberate. Changes need to be appropriate for this, setting, with opportunities to capture new long distant and borrowed views of the rural surroundings. 

Using a little-known and unloved part of the site, where old tents and other structures used to be stored, gives this area a new focus within the site. Other than one corner, this location is better screened from the wider landscape setting than other locations. Locating the Hive building here opens up numerous new opportunities for ‘Heligan Learning’ and ‘Heligan Healing’, and allows the previously un-restored areas of Heligan to be restored.

The intention for the Heligan Hive exterior is to use timber as much as possible with expressive cladding and screening options and try to design as much as possible that can be built by the Heligan team Minimised the additional framing systems, relying more on cladding the existing structure. Developed with Studio Arc, the facade provides opportunities to grow plants with metal wires and simple mesh screens, with different timber profiles and cladding options to create an interesting, expressive facade, and introduces moments of the rustic, earthy nature of the corten steel, using recycled rusted corrugated metal sheeting.

Giving a new future for Cornwall’s Historic Lost Garden is key to this project.  The Helugan Hive gardens and old nursery space will be transformed to function as an outdoor learning and working space, with a natural, secret garden feeling. The aim of the space is to promote Education, Health and well-being: Heligan Learning and Heligan Healing. The benefits of outdoor learning and working environments are becoming increasingly apparent. The Heligan Hive and its surroundings have the potential to serve as an adaptable and engaging workspace and a classroom for educational visits. The gardens create spaces of varying levels of size and seclusion, in order to offer flexible areas for user-defined activities, such as meetings or working as an individual, school group visits, and fitness and meditation classes.

Other Projects