As part of my Final Major Project and few months before I get my BA (Hons) Interior Design degree, I had to choose the location, building and theme of the project. After one week of researching locations and buildings and trying to figure out what will really make me and keep me excited for the next 15 weeks I end up wanting to work with the Trentham estate as I was always thinking the first reaction I had when I saw pictures of it on internet. So yesterday Saturday 04/02/2017 I visited the Trentham Estate with some friends as part of the site analysis that the project requires from the students and the feelings this place gave me are beyond words and now the Trentham estate is officially the location I chosen for my Final Major Project.
My visit to Trentham Estate was one of the best experience I had in my Life. The Estate is more outstanding and beautiful from what someone can see on the internet. My favorite thing about this place is that it's changing all the time as the natural parts of it are affected by the seasons, the weather, the clouds, the sun, the different types of flowers that are growing in each time of the year. All those natural elements with the combination of symmetric and harmonic design all the buildings and the gardens within the estate, are making the whole experience magical for the visitors. The first part of the estate is the shopping village were is located on the one side of the river that is separating the village with the gardens. Within the village there’re plenty of small wooded shops that that are selling many different kind of stuff and at the end of the village is located a shopping centre with restaurants, flower and decoration shops.
As we walked towards the entrance and because there is no visual access to the gardens from the shopping village so immediately I noticed and saw the gardens and the nature exactly when you are walking out of the entrance doors. The first thing you I saw a new bridge in modern style crossing to the other side of the river and right after that I found my self standing standing on a crossroad and we had to choose to go left or right. From the left is the main gardens with the buildings and from the other side is the lake and all the other attractions of the estate. From that point there is a limited visual access to the main gardens and the existing buildings because of the tall trees. We choose to go to the left and see the whole estate before we move to the gardens. I think that’s the best way to go because you have visual access to the Italian gardens the whole time but you leave the most important part for the end as the more closer you get the more stunning it looks.
We have the chance to walk all around the lake, see people doing water sports, enjoy the walk and the nature and then exactly in the middle of the way you find small cafeterias and sitting areas. The rest of the estate is giving you the chance to see animals like different types of birds, sheep’s, monkeys and deer’s. Through all the journey you see decorations like fairies made with metal and animals made by wood. After about 2 hours of walking around the lake you then arriving to the main part of the estate, the Trentham Gardens. Before that, I saw buildings that were obviously added recently on a green belt which made it clear for me that this area is sometimes exception of the strict planning application rules. As soon as I arrived to the gardens I was so amazed by them, the place is unbelievable beautiful, big and smalls statues everywhere, the symmetry and the shapes are absolutely stunning, the connection between the human made parts with the nature is just amazing and all these flowers and colours are providing one magical experience.
Then, and as we were walking closer and closer to the existing buildings, the level is getting higher and higher with small steps, and you see the gardens forms and shapes better and the feeling is simply amazing. I found my self confused as I didn’t know which way to look because I was simply surrounded by beautiful things like fountains and more and more statues. The buildings are really connected with the space as they are not really big and some of their parts are behind trees and bushes.
The three buildings: The Grand Entrance, The Old hall and the Church of St Mary are still standing there after all this time are reminding us that this place has a great history behind it. The sad part of the story is that from that wonderful place something is still missing and that is the great and huge mansion that has been designed 1834 by Charles Barry but demolished 1992 after the peoples that the sewage created by from nearby potteries polluted it in the early 20th century and it was considered as one of the greatest losses of the era. Through our visit I couldn’t help but thinking of how the estate would look like if the mansion was still there and even the thought of it was enough to give me goosebumps. Also the Grand Entrance, the Old hall are in a very poor condition and have been left abandoned for many but I was still amazed by their architecture and their beauty. These two buildings have so much potential to become something even more amazing by restoring them and reuse them as something that this beautiful place is missing, a place to stay. A place where all those visitors, don’t have only 5 hours to visit as the gardens are closing at 3pm, a place where people can travel there from across the United Kingdom and stay there for few days and enjoy views to this magical place from their comfortable and especially designed for their wellbeing hotel rooms. The two existing buildings are having huge windows and visual access to the gardens, but they lack of height so somebody who is standing there can’t see the careens is their finest form.
That’s why the old mansion was there, that’s why it was so tall, so the people can see the estates beauties from the upper floors. That made me thinking that I could not only restore the existing buildings but also create a new one, full of nature, which can be 2 or three floors higher than the existing ones and then use the space and fill it with hotel rooms with big windows and balcony’s that will engage it with the rest of the area. My first idea was to create the new building on the land where the old mansion was standing but that would hide the views from the church to the gardens and from the gardens to the church. The best space to create the new building is behind the Hall because there is a plenty of empty space that the owners don’t use anymore but also because that will not block any view on the green belt area but instead will create more visual access to the estate.