Best Creative Reuse Awards – 2015

The Association for Industrial Archaeology celebrated the European Industrial and Technical Heritage Year 2015 with the launch of the AIA Creative Re-use Award.

The awards were announced by AIA Chairman Keith Falconer MBE, on 1 December at the evening reception of the “Reviving Places by Reusing Industrial Heritage Conference” held in Manchester.  The Conference was organised by the Princes Regeneration Trust, Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund with partner input from the AIA.

Five awards have been made to industrial buildings which have been successfully re-used, three for projects with a strong community focus and two for commercial projects. The end use of the buildings ranges from an arts centre and craft studios, to offices and residential apartments.

[ Click on any image to see a larger version ]

The three community focused awards went to:

Fairfield_Govan Fairfield Drawing Office, Govan

The greatest challenge for re-use from the point of view of sheer scale was the Fairfield Drawing Office, perhaps the finest of all the shipyard Drawing Offices. They were designed by John Keppie and constructed between 1889 and 1891.

Image by Pauline Megson, copyright Historic Environment Scotland

Grave_diggers_painswick002x Grave Diggers’ hut Painswick, Gloucestershire

A contrast in size is the tiny Grave Diggers’ hut in the church yard at Painswick, Gloucestershire. The churchyard is better known for its yew trees and chest tombs but when mortality rates were much higher than today the digging of graves was essential and hard work.

Image by Amber Patrick

Frome_Silk_Millx Silk Mill, Frome, Somerset

The Silk Mill had a brief period of prosperity when crepe silk became especially fashionable with Victoria’s period of mourning.  Textile production ceased in 1926 and over the years it became increasingly derelict and was declared a Listed Building @ Risk. In 2005 it was acquired by the Moore family.

Image by Keith Falconer

The two commercial projects were conversions to residential use :

Millend_Before_IMG_2563 Millend Mill, UK. Undercurrent architects_06 Millend Mill, Eastington, near Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

By the 1980s the building was disused and decaying. In 2009 it was purchased for residential conversion by Grantbourne Ltd who were intent on preserving shape and form. The obvious viable option for Millend Mill was conversion to high quality apartments reinstating features reflecting the original water powered character of the mill.

Images: Exterior, derelict before works started, by Steve Mills; Interior after conversion, by Undercurrent Architects

StaffordshireLichfieldBirminghamRoadWandD006x Lichfield_Maltings_main_hallway The Maltings, Birmingham Road, Lichfield

The conversion of the main floors of the Maltings to apartments presented few problems, the treatment of the interior of the kilns was more problematic. The solution was to create a unique entrance hall with the outlets for the hot air from the furnace forming the ceiling.

Images: Exterior by Amber Patrick; Main hallway by Debbie Boffin

More detail on these awards will be in IA News.

1 Comment

  1. Mark Rustbucket
    February 26, 14:14 Reply
    This is a very inspiring set of projects that shows just what can be achieved. Never write off an old industrial building: its best use may be yet to come!

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