The Pottery and Weavery workshops at the Lantern by CaSA Architects

The Lantern Workshops

There can't be many people in the UK who get to work in a building deemed worthy of an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) but that's exactly what's happening at The Lantern Community - a community and charity committed to the welfare of people with learning difficulties. The aim here was to provide two new craft workshops, improving the working environment and the quality of the work itself, which is sold on site to help generate revenue. A key focus of this community is the value given to the importance of friends and a sense of belonging that people have as part of their community. Both buildings have been designed with this at their heart. Read more...

It is important that our work here is meaningful and that people feel they are genuinely needed at their place of work. The space has been truly life-changing for all concerned and I think this is reflected in the quality of work we produce here.

Emma Borbely-Bartis, Day Services Manager at The Lantern Community.

The two workshops have been designed to a very high environmental standard and were developed using Passivhaus analysis software by environmental engineers, Greenguage Building Energy, following Passivhaus principles. These principles offer a genuine benefit to the user and environment by offering excellent standards of thermal comfort and indoor air quality whilst minimising energy consumption and therefore energy bills in simple and long lasting ways. The workshops have been designed and detailed with a focus on very high levels of insulation (300mm in walls), very careful attention to minimise cold bridges and exceptional air tightness (1.5 and 1.9 achieved) to reduce energy consumption to a minimum.

The form of the workshops have been developed to provide good levels of natural daylight and ventilation to each of the spaces through the provision of both low-level and high-level windows, the latter of which automatically open to provide a comfortable internal environment all year round. 

The windows and doors to both buildings create a visual connection with the surrounding landscape, seen as an important part of the artistic element of the various crafts. The spaces are primarily lit from above to provide the best conditions for detailed working in natural daylight. Where larger elements of glazing have been used, projecting canopies provide both solar shading and external workspaces for both the Seasonal Crafts and Flexible Workshop studio spaces. The Pottery and Flexible Workspace has a North facing mono-pitched roof which allows for diffuse daylighting through roof lights into the Studio Space, whereas the Weavery and Seasonal Crafts has a South facing mono-pitched roof, which through its position and orientation on the site provides a platform for the future installation of photo voltaic and a solar thermal array offering the option of reducing the energy dependence of the workshops even further. 

Other environmental design features include the use of LED & low energy lights, acoustic ceilings to keep rooms quieter to improve communication, zero ozone depleting polystyrene on the roofs, low CO2 concrete to minimise embodied energy, and the use of natural internal finishes – e.g. natural wood, lino, environmentally friendly paints.
The social sustainability of the Lantern Community is fundamental to the design of the buildings and their location on the site. By forming the open garden space between the buildings new external space for the community has been created. A social hub is at the heart of each building in form of the tea room and entrance further strengthening the opportunity for community.



  • Location:
    Ringwood, Hampshire
  • Size:
    380 Sq m
  • Key info:
    Very specific user needs | Community benefit
  • Awards:

    RIBA Regional Awards 2015
    RICS Award 2015 - Best Community Benefit
    Planning & Placemaking 2016 (Highly Commended)
    Civic Trust Award 2016 (Regional Finalist)
    MacEwen Award 2016 (Shortlisted)
    Brick Awards 2015 (Commendation)

    Weaving and Seasonal Craft Workshop

    The buildings have helped to create a natural event space for festivals, allowing a flow of people between the two outdoor spaces. It creates a whole extra area to be enjoyed and used to full effect by the community here.

    Emma Borbely-Bartis, Day Services Manager at The Lantern Community.

    Pottery and Art Workshop