David Austin set up offices in Ruskin Mill in 1993, becoming retained architect for the burgeoning College over the following decade of growth and change with a series of projects in the Horsley valley, and growing his practice alongside this to form David Austin & Associates in 2002.

The practice ran a practical building programme with students of the college as an element of their curriculum and includes new bridges, a cupola and cast bell, and restoration of the mill wheel. These projects form elements of a significant range of works including full refurbishment of Ruskin Mill to provide offices, workshops, café, teaching and exhibition spaces. Refurbishment of Horsley Mill provides further accommodation and includes apartments for students learning to live independently.

Horsley Mill remains an active fish farm and connecting these buildings is a landscape of lakes, wetland, woodland and market gardens designed to provide a range of craft activities and land husbandry under the curriculum. Water management is a key element, and semi-wild planting serves craft activities as well as providing habitat and colour across the seasons. A fish hatchery building, forge and woodworking shelter provide new functional spaces within this landscape, and sit in harmony with the mills to bring a unity to the college’s estate and the Horsley valley.

Ruskin Mill’s programmes of public events, along with their thriving café, make this a popular destination for the town’s residents and visitors, and pathways linking through the estate and valley beyond are much loved.