Thursday, 28 May 2015

But Is It Art?

For several years OHOS artists have wanted to improve facilities for our visitors, and especially to provide a wheelchair accessible toilet.  In a historic listed building with an unusual ground floor layout this was not entirely easy, but it is nearly done!  We have many people to thank, especially OHOS artists Ksenija Krotin, Petre Nikoloski and Jon Lockhart for giving their time voluntarily and devoting much effort to the project.  Ksenija made architectural plans for dividing one of the cells into a toilet and separate kitchenette, secured listed building consent, and dealt with building control compliance.  Petre used his knowledge of traditional building techniques to move and enlarge the doorway, and to repair brickwork in poor condition.  Jon used his encyclopaedic practical experience to do the flooring, build the partition, install the kitchen, and hang a period door that we salvaged from a sister Keep in Devizes last year.  We would also like to thank Nick Huzzey and Steve Marshall for providing affordable professional expertise with - respectively -  electrics and plumbing.  Further thanks are due to Reading Borough Council Planning, Property Services, and Building Services Departments for their sympathetic support for OHOS as it perseveres with this project without external funding.  Is it art?  Well, a lot of loving attention went into design and materials, and it has certainly been a creative process.  It's not a urinal of course.....