Ford Park, Plymouth
Project Planner
Imagemakers, Tandem Studio

After securing lottery funding for the Ford Park Visitors Centre with our initial proposal, we worked closely with Imagemakers, an interpretive design consultancy from Okehampton, to further develop the brief through conceptual workshops with the Ford Park Cemetery Trust. In collaboration with Imagemakers we transformed the existing 1960's chapel into an exciting modern, robust and functional exhibition space. It provides facilities for the local community, such as a space for lectures and workshops, permanent and temporary exhibition spaces and an interpretive link to the surrounding cemetery.

Neutral white walls give a light ambience to the generous exhibition space, the blue of the ceiling and green for the café area create an abstract link with the landscape outside. The main space was fitted with solid ash flooring, we designed and fitted internal glass doors to connect entrance and lobby with the exhibition space and further define the quality of the venue.

A range of contemporary display furniture for the venue was developed and made by Tandem. It included flexible exhibition screens with picture rails and magnet receptive surfaces, a bespoke picture frame system for large format posters that allows easy storage and archiving. A set of portable birch ply display plinths with acrylic covers were developed for exhibiting valuable artefacts.

These were complimented by multimedia technology in the form of a touch screen terminal, plasma screens and a data projector.

Maximising flexibility and the use of available floor space was an important objective. Discrete white storage cupboards were designed and fitted to blend in with the walls not detracting from the exhibition but providing extra storage and surfaces for display. The existing kitchen now opens up to the exhibition hall creating a café area near the entrance.

Throughout the design and build we worked closely with the client at all times ensuring they were happy with all decisions made and keeping costs within the client's extremely tight budget.

I worked with Jonathan for upwards of four years on the overall design of the Ford Park Cemetery Visitor Centre and Exhibition Space, and on the detailed design, costing, construction where appropriate and installation of the display and other furnishings. In all he did he always aspired to the highest professional standards. He thinks deeply about design, his drawings are accurate and well executed and the display furniture and other items he provided us with reflected a high degree of craftsmanship with a good balance between function and appearance. He has a good eye for space, colour, ambience and detail.
The outcome is that we have a modern, vibrant, high quality space, which meets our conflicting needs as well as it is possible to do so.
It was a pleasure to work with someone so utterly reliable.

Dr Henry Will MBE, Chairman, Ford Park Cemetery Trust