An overview of Hooke Park
Hooke Park is the Architectural Association’s woodland site in Dorset, southwest England. The 150-hectare working forest is owned and operated by the AA and contains a growing educational facility for design, workshop, construction and landscape-focused activities. Underlying these activities is the opportunity to develop a critical and contemporary, rural focused discourse – foregrounding the challenges of climate change.
Today the campus presents a 30-year history of experimental timber construction. Under the previous ownership of the Parnham Trust’s School for Woodland Industries, three remarkable demonstrations of round-wood construction were built: the Prototype House (1987), Workshop (1989) and Dormitory (1996), which offer a valuable legacy and point of reference for today’s students. Following the transition of ownership to the AA in 2002, the masterplan for campus development was redrawn and continues, with new workshop and accommodation facilities being designed and built by students of the AA’s Design + Make masters programmes. This continues with the first construction of Wakeford Hall – a new library, lecture hall and central academic hub for Hooke Park.
Hooke Park is used by the AA throughout the year for activities in three categories: visits by London-based units; the Hooke Park-based Design + Make graduate school programme; and for Visiting School short courses. As well as being integral to the AA, Hooke Park is also part of the larger cultural and making community of West Dorset through its public programme of evening lectures, symposia, concerts and open days Hooke Park.