Interior Designer of the Year

Interior Designer of the Year
The Parchment Works by Will Gamble Architects

The existing Northamptonshire property consisted of a 1,800 sq ft residential Grade II listed double fronted Victorian house. Connected to the house was a disused cattle shed, and beyond that a ruin, which was a former parchment factory and scheduled monument.

The client’s initial brief was to convert the cattle shed and demolish the ruin to make way for a new extension. From the beginning of the design process it was clear that the client viewed the ruin as a constraint as opposed to a positive asset that could be celebrated through a sensitive but well conceived intervention.

Instead of demolishing the ruin, Will Gamble Architects proposed ‘a building within a building’, where two lightweight volumes could be delicately inserted within the masonry walls in order to preserve and celebrate it.

A palette of honest materials were chosen both internally and externally which references the site’s history and the surrounding rural context. Externally, corten steel, oak, and reclaimed brick were used. The extension was built from upcycled materials predominantly found on site which was both cost effective and sustainable, whilst allowing the proposal to sensitively blend into its surroundings.

Internally the structural beams of the existing cattle shed were exposed, as well as the steelwork to the new parts, the stone walls were repointed and washed in lime to create a mottled effect, and a concrete plinth was cast along the base to create a monolithic skirting."

Judges’ comments

“This is one of the standout projects of the awards for me. The dialogue between the ruin and the new is exceptional. The spaces make you look again and again to this tension and how new and old materials are used next to each other. Each space is beautiful and detailed to bring out key elements such the view or the masonry existing walls or characterful beams. A brilliant project!”

“A stunning solution to the client's brief with inventive use of the materials and features already available on site.”

“Excellent use of modern and traditional materials, excellent use of space. The perfect architectural intervention.”