The Bridge: philosophy, concepts and details…..
Guest Blog: Richard Merrills, Director, Watson Batty Architects
We have been in involved in this particular site with Skipton Properties for several years, exploring a number of different strategic masterplan proposals as the client’s brief and wishes for the site have been refined.
The existing site constraints such as the listed mill building, tight archway access, steep cross sectional topography, beck-side boundary, Keighley Worth Valley Railway corridor initially represented design challenges, however these soon became opportunities.
The site is a long, thin, irregularly shaped plot of land. Early concepts focused on the valley context, varied scale, urban grain, rich texture of finishes, traditional materials and classical architectural styling. The Haworth Conservation area setting also ensures adherence to delivering a high quality aesthetic, with natural traditional materials being applied in an imaginative modern manner.
We have worked with the existing site to create a new mill aesthetic, of mixture of uses and built form that respects the industrial past, delivering an exciting external environment linking to the Bronte country, whilst crafting a new legacy with a contemporary ‘flavour’. Our final design proposes the conversion and extension of an existing listed mill into ‘Retirement Living’ apartments, and the construction of 75 new build family houses.
Our approach to the facades in the retirement element of the development has concentrated on respecting the local vernacular, expressing verticality of the fenestration via a simple effective rhythm and the slim aluminium frames maximise the natural daylighting into the buildings.
With regard to the family houses, it was a clear ambition of the design and client team to create a high quality mill courtyard setting that is still ‘of Haworth’ and not a typical suburban standard spec house builder scheme.
Thanks to the attitude of our enlightened ambitious client we have been allowed to deliver this design vision. The early results seen on site, with the excellent build quality and sourcing of natural materials, the chances of this vision fulfilling its full potential are even further enhanced
Interested in starting a new chapter in a new home in Haworth?
Appointments can be made to view the Show Home during our soft launch by calling 01535 288009 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointments available Thursday – Monday 10am – 5pm from Saturday 25th November.