Architecture Awards 2021
Restoration of an Historic Building
Commendation (one of two):
Crowden Lea Tom Crooks Architecture Private Client
This project is the conservation of Grade II Listed house, Crowden Lea at Upper Booth.
Reputed to be one of the oldest houses in that part of the valley and subject to considerable alteration historically as its status and use changed since the 17th C.
The project required a lot of research to try and ascertain the significance of the building and allow interpretation of the structure and its evolution over the past the centuries as well as understanding of the impact of the proposed alterations.
The house had been subject to many years of inappropriate, unsympathetic and unauthorised alteration and the new owner sought to conserve the historic property. This would be achieved by reinstating historic detailing and materials using traditional crafts and trades; removing the inappropriate alterations; adapting and upgrading the house to suit contemporary use; integrating modern craftwork and skills and reducing the building’s carbon footprint.
The thin concrete ground floor slab was replaced with an insulated floor with underfloor heating, new electrics and lighting installed throughout and plaster repairs and modern partitions to the entrance porch removed.
The first floor was subject to some re-arrangement: to restore the third bedroom to its former proportions (removing an inset en-suite); the sub-divided corridor opened up to improve natural lighting and remove modern partitions and the main bathroom (previously formed by a partitioning of the corridor) relocated to a more appropriate space.
The historic first floors were repaired where decayed and dangerous, supplemented with a new timber structure and conserved where historic floor boards remained.
The previous water supply from a tank in the hills was replaced with a water-source bore hole and the building fitted with a new smart heating and hot water system.
Externally, the drainage was overhauled and new drainage installed to the rear to mitigate damp in the building.
Working with the PDNPPA, Tom Crooks agreed a scope of works to remedy previous unauthorised works, including removal of the porch and replacement of the stair balustrade.
The external windows and doors were all replaced with appropriately detailed fittings, integrating double glazing and the exterior of the building re-pointed in lime mortar and minor repairs undertaken.
The attention to detail by the Client in the fixtures and fittings results in an exquisitely furnished property, worthy of its status.