Ramsgate artist studios to expand with plans for new jobs and education programmes

The project team: Lynsey Harrison (SPACER) is pouring at the back Stephen Melton (SPACER) Pier-Luigi del Renzio (del Renzio & del Renzio) Ivan del Renzio (del Renzio & del Renzio) Sarah Craske (SPACER) Mhari Stevenson (del Renzio & del Renzio) Front Row Karina Craske (SPACER) Dan Lambert (SPACER)

An artists’ studio and education site in Ramsgate is planning to create jobs and facilities for a community lab after buying another property.

SPACER, which is based at Manston Road, off St Lawrence, proposes to build a new studio with expertise from the town’s del Renzio & del Renzio architects to make it environmentally friendly.

The team is currently developing the concept design for a pre-planning application to Thanet council before formal submission.

It proposes 800sqm of space devoted to creativity, fine art production and education with plans for new jobs and education opportunities. Interdisciplinary spaces will be installed, from sculpture and fabrication facilities, digital technologies to the community laboratory.

Director Sarah Craske said: “It’s been a dream of ours to be able to work in an arts studio that is as ecologically sustainable as possible, with the added ability to give something back to the local community.

“ We are so excited that we can now expand. We are really enjoying working with Ramsgate based architects del Renzio & del Renzio who are leading on the design. Their expertise in Environmental Design, thoughtful approach to architecture, knowledge of the art world and its corresponding physical spaces is proving to be invaluable.”

Spacer was established in 2005 by artists Sarah Craske and Stephen in a 200sqm industrial unit. It included a bronze casting foundry where they cast works not only for themselves, but for many established artists, designers, architects and other creative practitioners across the UK.

In 2007, with the purchase of another unit on the same site, this facility grew to become an artists’ owned and led space and community with  fine art creation facilities. The fine art subsidised studio spaces for artists and a global education programme.

SPACER director Stephen Melton said:  “Traditional fine art production processes like bronze casting, historically, haven’t been environmentally conscious. It is our aim to ensure that these creative practices and knowledges are secured in the 21st century, through ecologically sustainable technologies.

“Our new facility will become a hub of innovation; a meeting place for leading specialists to exchange knowledge and apply it to others’ research.”

Pier-Luigi del Renzio added: “We value being local and realise the impact such a project will have on its community in providing quality space for arts education, craft, creative research and display space for contemporary artistic endeavours. We envisage the new building to employ sustainable methods of construction, combining natural day lighting and ventilation with integrated low energy technologies. We are investigating techniques for recapturing waste heat generated by the foundry and utilising it to heat the building. “