Hidden courtyard gets a makeover

March 5, 2021

With restrictions in the UK due to start lifting, and a return to normal life within reach, we’ve been busy behind the scenes creating some exciting new spaces for people to spend time in. Our hidden courtyard in Dane’s Yard is one spot that’s undergone a dramatic makeover with an abundance of planting, seating made from recycled CLT, surprising ‘squiggle’ lighting, sounds of nature, and an artwork inspired by prints found on site.

The artist behind the transformation, Rachel Wyld, tells us a little bit about her vision:

“The courtyard is situated in Sugar House Island’s Creative Quarter, hidden between old and new buildings. It’s a space that will be used by office workers, visitors of The Print House Bar and anyone curious enough to stumble upon it. I wanted to create a natural setting where people could instantly switch off from the stresses of work. I’ve used planting and sounds of nature played periodically through a speaker system to try and bring that feel through to the urban environment.

I loved selecting the plants for this project, I was inspired by British woodlands, keeping to a limited colour palette of greens reds and yellows. I chose grasses to provide interest throughout the winter and to create some movement. I can’t wait to see how the change in seasons alters the aesthetics of the space.

I wanted the lighting to take on an organic form so went with something quite bespoke, creating overhead patterns using LED tube lights. The shapes are inspired by the flight paths of small insects and bees. They really transform the place at night.

Another unique feature of the courtyard is a large artwork painted onto the external wall of The Print House. The artwork developed from a photograph taken by Regeneration Manager Valli van Zijl when Vastint first acquired the site. The photo was taken during demolition of an old industrial building and shows a beautiful pattern thought to have been created by the wings of birds brushing against a soot covered ceiling. Valli sadly passed away in 2020, this artwork is an ode to her, and her love of the faded and forgotten.”

The courtyard will officially open in the summer with a series of events hosted by The Print House Bar & Kitchen, watch this space for more exciting announcements to follow.