An interview with the Keeper
Our Keeper Laura Mark was interviewed by the Architects’ Journal about her new role at the houses and her plans for Walmer Yard.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Where have you come from and what is your role at Walmer Yard?
I was previously the architecture projects manager at the Royal Academy of Arts and before that I’d held many different roles at the AJ from intern to Architecture Editor. I’m now the keeper at Walmer Yard. It’s a slightly odd title which is more common in arts institutions where historically the keeper would be a curator looking after a specific area. At Walmer Yard I look after the building and its day-to-day running and I am also responsible for curating the public programme that will happen there and running the Baylight Foundation – the charity which is now based at Walmer Yard.
When did you start in the role and what have you been up to since you started?
I joined Walmer Yard in October and I’ve spent the last few months really getting to understand the spaces and working out what we might do in them. It’s been great getting to know the whole team, too, from Peter Salter to the contractor Daren Shaw and Fenella Collingridge, who worked with Peter on the design of the houses. Fenella is a real fount of knowledge on anything about Walmer Yard. Since I started I’ve been working on a book telling the story of the project from start to completion, giving tours of the buildings to architects and students, working on our public programme and developing the direction we will take all the things we do at Walmer Yard – from rentals to film location shoots.
What are you hoping to achieve?
It’s a unique place to work. It’s a real privilege to be given the opportunity to put my own stamp on what will happen at Walmer Yard and to be somewhere right from the beginning. I hope to develop an interesting programme which challenges the perception of architecture while opening up conversations about how we live and allowing the public to experience something different.