Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm

Project: Facelift and refurbishment

Job: Re-imagining of front of venue, main reception, shop and discovery zone, content development, exhibition graphics, design, illustration, share of project management with farm's operation manager.

Client: Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm

Brief: Provide artistic impressions of redesigned space for client approval, cost the approved scheme and source potential contractors, design & illustrate interpretation graphics, provide as print ready artwork.

Illustrate a 12.5 meter external wall with a garden scene (biggest wall panorama yet!). The co-creation, design & illustration of 2 guides for sale in the butterfly house- a visitor guide and an activity guide.

Above: We cedar-clad the front of the building, and I designed a tropical photo-montage, that was cut to shape and applied to the front of the building with some butterfly cutouts.

Below: These are same pages from the schematic design, they contain the artistic impressions made up at the start of the project. If you scroll further down the page you can see how they compare to the finished project. It's been a hugely satisfying project, seeing it progress from concept to delivery and being creatively involved in every stage.

Schematic Design Scroll through to see Schematic Design
Artist impression 1
Artist impression 2
Artist impression 3
Artist impression 5
Artist impression 4
Artist impression 6
Main reception

BEFORE

We replaced ancient damp green carpet tiles with a new watertight floor. The ceiling was transformed with circular ceiling clouds with inset spot lighting. A wall was taken out to open up the the education area into the shop area, and a cloakroom space created. We used reclaimed scaffold planks and pallets along with new shop fittings to modernise the shop.

AFTER

BEFORE

The original education space was a rather dark, separate room that had become a holding pen for school parties. We opened up the space to make it an appealing, educational space that visitors would be able to make more use of, with tables for children's activities, lockable roll-out storage for school bags & other equipment and benches for displays and demonstrations. 

AFTER

Roll-out chests for school group bags and coats

Magnetic wall area for pinning up drawings

Magnetic butterfly puzzle

Spot the number of butterflies

The Explorers Journal- interactive interpretation

The butterfly farm has a great butterfly walk through. We wanted to introduce some interpretation in a subtle form which complemented the visitors journey. So we created a book mounted on a lectern which was written in the style of an Edwardian explorers journal. It has dairy entries describing the things you can see as you explore the flight area, and I illustrated it in a more traditional detailed style to the illustrations used throughout the rest of the interpretation. 

above: I illustrated a backdrop of the Belize rainforest for the wall behind the lectern.

left & below: Here are some excerpts from the book. The writer Louise Hawkins did a great job of capturing a unique tone of voice to this interpretation and also a certain amount of humour.

Discovery Zone

below & below right: The Discovery Zone is another room that we redesigned, providing the space with a demonstration bench, wall graphics and free standing displays with information on the butterfly lifecycle, moths, caterpillars & much more.

BEFORE

AFTER

Visitor & Activity Guides

left: Working with Louise Hawkins (writer) and Peter Farmer (photographer Survival Photos) we created 2 guides for the venue; a 36 page visitor guide and a 28 page activity guide for children. (Click here to see some sample pages of the activity guide). Louise and I developed the content to enhance the visitor experience, with a spotters guide, an eye spy page & fun facts about specific butterflies etc. We also included activities to do at home, including crafts, mazes, drawing and gardening tips.

Impress Print did a great job of printing the guide which has a beautiful high quality finish.

Garden Wall Illustration

Along with the other refurbishments, a new toilet block was added to the side of the main building. I was asked to illustrate a garden scene to clad the wall which would include many of plants and animal species found in the venue's garden

© 2019 Madeleine Smith.