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Article 11811

Category: Press Release
Date:     02 June 2009
Time:     08:46 AM


Press release
Friday 29 May 2009
Contact: Jenny Peterson, Press & Communications Officer, RIBA South East, 01892 515878
Photo x 5 captions: 
Outside and inside Birchwood House; architect Sylvia Kus; 
guess the building detail [the answer is in the file name!]; 
view from Accademia Bridge, by Nick Hebditch 

Enjoy architecture new and old in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, during the south east Festival of 

You can visit an architect’s own house in Southborough; enjoy a ‘find the building’ quiz in Tunbridge 
Wells town centre; and appreciate artist Nick Hebditch’s paintings of architecture of Europe during 
the south east Festival of Architecture.

The Festival is co-ordinated by RIBA South East (which has offices in Tunbridge Wells) and the 
Solent Centre for Architecture + Design, across the south east from 20 May to 28 June. Full details of 
the Festival are on .

On Sunday 14 June, you can enjoy a conducted tour of Birchwood House in Southborough with its 
architect/owner, Sylvia Kus. Sylvia originally bought the land where the house now stands several 
years ago, intending to simply design the house, project manage the build and sell it on. She and her 
husband found that they liked the building and its location so much that they decided to live in the 
house themselves.

‘One of Birchwood House’s main features is the element of surprise,’ says Sylvia. ‘The front façade 
blends perfectly with the rest of the street but, once inside, the whole house opens up to stunning 
views and different levels which can’t be seen from the road.’ The finishes inside are very simple: the 
floors are of travertine and oak, and standard fire doors are finished with a stain that Sylvia 
developed herself to go with the grey aluminium windows. Every wall in the house apart from one is 
painted white, to display the Kus’s collection of contemporary artworks.

Tours will be conducted from 11am to 5pm on 14 June: pre-booking is essential, by phone on 01892 
542959 or 07939 223446, or via email .

Look afresh at Tunbridge Wells
RIBA South East has devised a ‘look up, look around’ photo quiz, showing architectural details in 
Tunbridge Wells town centre. It’s great fun for everyone to download from and try to identify on a walk. Answers, in the form of photos of the 
whole buildings, will be added to the website from mid-June.

Nick Hebditch’s open studio in Tonbridge
Artist Nick Hebditch opens his studio at 55 Deakin Leas, Tonbridge to show paintings and prints 
inspired by the architecture he has seen on his recent travels in Venice, France, Spain and in London 
and on the River Thames. Nick exhibits regularly throughout the UK; and has previously designed a 
poster for the London Underground. His studio, with some prints for sale, is open from Saturday 6 to 
Monday 8 June inclusive; Saturday and Sunday 13 and 14 June; and Saturday 20 June from 11am to 
6pm; and in the evenings of Wednesday 10, Friday 12 and Wednesday 17 June, from 6pm to 9pm. 
Pre-booking is not required to visit Nick’s studio.

These events and activities are just a few of the 90 events during the south east Festival of 
Architecture which, with the theme ‘Better Places, Better Spaces’, is taking place across the south 
east. Most are free of charge.

The Festival coincides with Architect in the House, the popular scheme that that lets homeowners get 
expert advice from an RIBA Chartered Architect in exchange for a donation to Shelter, the housing 
and homelessness charity.

Visit for the latest details of what’s happening during the south east 
Festival of Architecture.

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