This former malthouse dating back to the 17th & 18th centuries received a full refurbishment and conversion from it’s former life of a takeaway shop.
Although little remained internally, the traditional form of the building and the mix of materials used make a positive contribution to the character of this part of the Conservation Area. It also has cultural and social significance, and contributes to our understanding of the small-scale industrial processes which occurred within the rear yard areas (formerly burgage plots) of the town until the early 20th century.
The building was structurally in very poor condition when Stonewood took the decision to invest in its future: the flank walls had large cracks and were moving outwards and, alarmingly, the back wall was coming away from both flank walls. An “honest” colourful goal post structure was inserted in the middle of the building.
We wanted, where possible, to expose as much of the internal fabric of the building, and to allow the volume of the building to be enjoyed.
We incorporated a third middle “mezzanine” type floor within the front of the building. This meant the practice could occupy three connected floors (rather than having a separated upstairs and downstairs), and could work as one organisation.
The three floors are connected by a metal feature stair, around which a full height void is created. This allows connectivity and great views through the space from many angles. The stair is the heart or hub of the practice and allows for incidental meetings or chats.
The entrance to the building from the High Street is a communal meeting type space. Models are displayed in the shop window. There is a connection here with the life of the busy High Street, with people looking in or popping in.