Located in Suffolk, on the far east coast of England, is the Snape Maltings Arts Complex. The campus inhabits a former industrial area once used to malt barley for use in brewing beer. One of the many refurbished buildings in the complex is the Dovecote Studio. Designed by Haworth Thompkins, it is intended to be used as an artist's residence, meeting space, and temporary exhibition space.
This simple structure makes a great argument for the conservation of historical buildings. To most, a crumbling ruin of a tiny dovecote would not be worth saving. But here the old brick walls have added depth, character, and interest to the striking modern simplicity of the cor-ten steel studio. Alone, the studio would still be beautiful; the brick ruins make it unique.
The thing about time is there is no substitute. Despite our attempts with acid-washed jeans and faux-patina brass, nothing can replace the unique beauty time can bestow on an object. In an ever more rapidly changing world, our old structures are a connection to the past. Even tiny, crumbling dovecotes can light a spark in all of us.