The 2019 Philip Webb Award architectural competition drew an impressive number of entries from schools of architecture across the country, addressing a fascinating range of historic buildings.
This annual national award for recent graduates and Part 2 students at UK Schools of Architecture, encourages and celebrates the sympathetic re-use of old buildings and sensitive new design within historic contexts.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) judges shortlisted six schemes and awarded joint First Prize (£750) to Olivia Hellman from the University of Sheffield for her scheme The Dairy Factory, which proposes creating a working dairy unit and production facility within the derelict shell of a former calcining mill in the pottery town of Burslem, Stoke on Trent, a Grade II Listed building ctd architects helped conserve as part of a city-wide bottle oven restoration scheme some 15 years ago. ctd architects provided survey drawings as part of the support provided by Chris Hesketh, from the practice.
Olivia’s proposed new use neatly reflects the buildings’ local history – the mill was previously used to grind up cattle bones for making bone china, and the once-thriving ceramics factories in the Potteries were historically supported by a local dairy industry; early potters were also farmers and were producing butter pots to supply Stoke’s prominent dairy industry.
The project proposes repair of the existing built fabric and thoughtfully adds a new layer of architecture that reflects the pottery process of slip-casting, whilst contributing to ‘the mending of place’ and surrounding community. With the decline of mass pottery manufacturing in Stoke-on-Trent, this project re-imagines the farm in a more contemporary and sustainable manner through promotion of a form of dual production were 50 cows are farmed to produce food as well as materials including bio-plastics derived from their by-products.
Chris Hesketh said “It is encouraging to see the Sheffield post-graduate students embracing Stoke’s unique industrial heritage and the high standard of creativity demonstrated in their design schemes.
“Over the last few years that we have been assisting this Master’s design studio and some very inspirational visions for regenerating lost parts of Stoke-on-Trent have been presented for the former Spode Pottery Works, the former Chatterley Whitfield pit head and mining museum, and the ‘Mother’ town of Burslem.
“The focus for this year’s ‘Temporal Spaces’ Programme is Longton, including another of the practice’s heritage regeneration projects, The Phoenix Works.