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New Building in an Historic Setting - Winner - John Smedley East Site Redevelopment

Updated: Dec 5, 2021


John Smedley East Site Redevelopment - image credit: Hugh Pearman/RIBA Journal

Architecture Awards 2021


'New Building in an Historic Setting'


Winner: John Smedley East Site Redevelopment Architect: Evans Vettori Architects Client: Oasis Holding



Once a hive of activity, the now dormant buildings on the east side of Lea Road within the John Smedley Mills have welcomed a new sense of community in the form of new dwellings.


For a site steeped in industrial heritage, Amber Valley Borough Council and Historic England were unequivocal that a sensitive approach to redevelopment was essential; and one that takes threads from local distinctiveness and character.


Incorporating contextual cues and making careful reference, both internally and externally, to the traditional form of mill workers cotages across the Derwent Valley, the new dwellings follow the rhythmic, interlocking terraced layout that communicates a simple, internal configuration of habitable spaces.


Judges were impressed by the way in which the architect had used these characteristics for the new houses; reinterpreting the historic cottage and marrying elements of traditional character and materials with the essence of contemporary design. An excellent example of new buildings in an historic setting.



Nearby John Smedley cottages restored (2018)

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