The Square | Plymouth, Devon | 2016
Once a naval hospital, the Millfields in Plymouth is now mainly residential, and the project was for alterations to one of the grand houses that originally formed the officers’ quarters, built in 1805. When it was sold by the MOD in the mid 90s it had been used as the medical mess for a number of years, and the site of the project was occupied by the ladies loos. This poorly built structure cut the house off from its extensive garden.
The project has brought the house back to its original grandeur and has created new connections and relationships to the surroundings. Investigative work exposed original openings and elements of fabric that have been incorporated in the design.
At lower ground floor level three damp and redundant store-rooms have been utilised to move the kitchen to the front of the property, connecting to an alleyway to the front and the under pavement stores beyond. This provides a generous, light and airy kitchen and breakfast room.
At ground floor the garden room reconnects the house to its generous garden. The additions wrap around the rear of the property with distinct areas linking to different vistas of the outside. These different areas are arranged in response to the orientation and layout of the house and are defined by strong enclosures of brick to define the key spaces. A corner of brick encloses and protects the sunken and timber lined snug, offering retreat and seclusion.
Internally a palette of timber, brick, reclaimed floors and stone complement the exposed limestone walls and rediscovered opening into the stair of the main house. Externally the structuring elements are of painted brick, with zinc clad and glazed elements of infill, blending into the tones of the Plymouth limestone or reflecting the garden. A bold chimney relates to the stacks of the main house and provides a vertical anchor around which the scheme unfolds.
A listed building in a conservation area, the project required extensive consultation with the planning authority to agree materials and approach. Fabric first principles of sustainable design were followed creating a thermally efficient and sustainable addition.
- Shortlisted for LABC Building Excellence Regional Award 2018
- Shortlisted for Galvanizers Association National Award 2019
- Winner Build Architecture Award 2018