DESCRIPTION: Grade 2 Listed Conversion and Renovation


LOCATION: Mousehole, Cornwall

BUILD STAGE: Stage 4, on-site

Image of front of granite house

Project Details

Sandpiper is a grade II listed granite building within the Mousehole Conservation Area. Built in the mid-19th Century it was a private house to the harbour-front with a traditional layout of a rear fish cellar courtyard with pilchard press and net loft above. Over the years the internal courtyard, once used to process fish has been roofed over and used as an internal space. In recent years it had been converted into a ground floor gallery and office with a flat above. Much of the original character had been lost or hidden behind a bad conversion.

Concept Exploration

The client wanted to convert the ground floor gallery with rear office and first floor flat back into a 2-3 bedroom house and remove and replace some of the ugly 20th century renovations. The aim was to also highlight some of the original character of the building, lost over time. The ground floor interior of the building was very dark with little or no sunlight. Better natural ventilation upstairs was also requested.

During this project, our main challenge was the building’s Grade 2 Listed Status. The link roof between the front house and rear net loft also leaked badly and needed replacing. The proposal used this necessity to bring in more natural light by making most of the new roof in glass. Ventilation was improved by creating air cross-flow. Stud walls were removed and replaced by steel beams to open up the inside space. The steel beams and glass referenced back to the time when the interior was an outside courtyard.

Focussed Solutions

The parish were very supportive of the change of use application. We ensured that the approach to the new replacement roof and changes to the internal layout and finishes were approached sensitively and a detailed Heritage Impact Assessment was undertaken by Eric Berry. This helped the planning process considerably and facilitated positive feedback from the Planning Historic Environment Department.

The new changes had to be very sensitive to the important historic fabric of the building and its Grade 2 Listed Status. Any original features were preserved and any new additions conscientiously designed. The design and use of materials continually referenced back to the local vernacular to give an important “sense of place” to the building.

The new roof, designed to cure the leaks was mainly glass. A patent glazing system was chosen over other options, due to the site constraints (restricted height, restricted access, ventilation requirements), and it was found to be the most cost effective solution. We went to Howells patent glazing in the Midlands for site measure, manufacture and install. Lane Architects designed a new staircase and internal storage solutions within a constricted space. The layout was carefully considered to minimise space wasted in circulation (corridors) and maximise usable living space.

We worked within a budget and designed with the client in mind at all stages. We discussed the way the client wanted to live and what she wanted to achieve in the space before we embarked on the design. As a former professional caterer there was a requirement for lots of overspill kitchen equipment storage. We created a rear utility area to house lots of kitchen storage.

Ground Plan

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