The four new houses round a shared courtyard at Walmer Yard are to become the focus of the Baylight Foundation, a registered charity, with the aim of increasing the public understanding of what architecture can do, rooted in the experience of Walmer Yard.
The four houses and courtyard engage our sense of touch, smell, sight and sound. They also encourage sharing. It is these experiences which the Foundation will demonstrate, document and explore, initially through 3 threads:
Previously appreciation of these experiences has been poetic and literary. The Yard proposes to map a more empirical understanding, using tools from the fields of neuroscience, psychology and anthropology.
The Foundation will consider how such analogue and traditional experiences of architecture stand in an increasingly digital future of virtual and enhanced reality, where the hearth is replaced by the mobile phone.
Research at Walmer Yard will investigate the way in which we can be grounded, connected and made ‘at home’ by means of such architectural experience.
At the core of the Foundation will always be sharing the experience of visiting and staying, and the rituals of daily domestic life. This will be available to some who pay, and others who contribute to the programme through their research.
Walmer Yard’s ability to root and connect does suggest that themes of dwelling, interiority and domesticity might be explored in this context, in due course.