Delicious House- Retrofit of a Former Chinese Restaurant into an Architecture Studio

Delicious House / Stonewood Design
Delicious House

Project: Delicious House
Architecture: Stonewood Design
Heritage Consultant: JME Conservation Ltd
Main Contractor: Stonewood Builders
Structural Engineer: Momentum Engineering
Ecology: Seasons Ecology
Location: Wiltshire, England
Completion date: 2019
Building levels 1
Photo Credits: Fotohaus

Delicious House is the home of Stonewood Design.

The building dates from the 17th &18th centuries and originally, in part, comprised of a malthouse. It is set with its gable onto the busy high street of Corsham.

During the 20th Century the building became the Corsham Corn Store, of which there is much photo evidence. The building had been gutted in the mid-1980s and until very recently housed a Chinese Take-Away. It is Grade II Listed.

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

Stonewood Design began work on the building in 2017, with the aim to breathe new life into and create a permanent base for their growing architectural practice. At this time was clearly not of list quality having been completely gutted at the time of listing.

Its significance derived solely from its external appearance and the evidence of former openings within its external elevations. 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.

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

The building was structurally in very poor condition when Stonewood Design 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.

Stonewood Design 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.

They 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.

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

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. Children from the nearby school stand on the external bench and peer in. The communal space is used as a resource for the community and has already houses drinks events, a visit by Corsham Civic Society, and cake sales.

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

Rather than an introverted and private architect’s office, the building has ushered Stonewood Design into the daily life and community of the High Street in Corsham. This has been of significant positive benefit to the practice and its staff, and hopefully the wider community.

Sustainability was key to design decisions with this project.

Listed Buildings are exempt from compliance with the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Regulations.
We therefore have no design data.

The building has only recently been occupied, so we do not have as yet utilities’ bills to obtain in-use data to see how it is performing.

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

The building has however breathed new life into a dilapidated historic structure and is a great exemplar of sustainable retrofit.

From a social sustainability point of view, we are now an active part of the community and the High Street.

This has created a great, communal and light filled place to work, which promotes health and well being.

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

Delicious House / Stonewood Design

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