Continuing our series in the run-up to this year's North West Regional Construction Awards at the end of May we look at another winner from the 2009 ceremony.
Winner: Blencowe Hall Partners for the Restoration of Blencowe Hall, Penrith, Cumbria
Designers: Donald Insall Associates, Christine & Charles Rowley, Graham K Norman Architect, Blackett Ord Partners, Peter F Ryder, North Pennines Archaeology
Project Timescales: 2006-2008
Project Contract Value: £700,000
Type of Work: Renovation of derelict Grade 1 Listed late medieval period building
Type of client: Catering for tourism
Construction Product: Late medieval period building with two ruinous peele Towers
Project Overview: To restore and reinstate the two derelict peele towers at Blencowe Hall and to integrate these into the rest of the structure to make a unified whole. This approach was taken to ensure that the Grade I building which included the Hall and the derelict tower were restored as an entity and would be preserved, used and occupied in the future as holiday accommodation.
The hall is now available for self-catering accommodation and has enabled the wider public to have access and to be able to enjoy the unique structure and surroundings. A conservation philosophy was adopted to the restoration and new work was always adapted to fit into the existing fabric.
Impact: This project focused on preserving and protecting a heritage building at risk, developed conservation building skills, helped to ensure the viability of traditional local trades and suppliers; and supported the local community through the creation of a local tourist business.
Innovation: English Heritage recognised the renovation work at Blencowe Hall in its Constructive Conservation Awards. Blencowe Hall was selected as being amongst those successful schemes at the forefront of modern conservation practice. The building of a separate steel structure inside the South Tower ensures the building stands separately and supports the external masonry shell – this is an unusual feature and demonstrates an innovative approach.
Integrated Teams: The renovation works show the developers working with specialist conservation architects but also more widely with local providers of services including archaeologists, building historian, structural engineers, architects.
The Judges said Blencowe was 'a high quality restoration that ensured the building's re-use as a legacy for future generations'.
The North West Regional Construction Awards 2010, organised by the Centre for Construction Innovation, takes place on 27 May at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.
Tickets cost £120.00 plus VAT per person.
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