This Grade II listed, four-storey town house and shop in the historical heart of Bristol was converted from a building in need of updating and renovation into a contemporary live/work home. The building has been constantly improved, extended and adapted since it was built around 1750.
We needed to apply for listed building consent for the works in the knowledge that EVERYTHING within a listed building is included, even the woodchip wallpaper! It is a popular misunderstanding that all works within a listed property should be aimed at restoring the building to become a museum piece from a bygone age.
We developed a creative design vision for the property which would comply to the regulations: a London loft warehouse vibe for the ground floor office and living space, a traditional look for the first floor guest rooms, and a contemporary finish for the kitchen, living space and bedrooms on the top two floors.
Working closely with the listed building officer, we ensured that all of our ideas complied with the regulations.
The building has been sympathetically restored using traditional materials to both insulate and let the fabric of the building breath.
We retained all of the original architectural features, exposed the ones which were hidden, and recycled the pieces which had to be removed.
Shadow gaps were used to differentiate between new and old plaster ceiling.
Each space has been designed with its own individual character, to take advantage of the rhomboid footprint of the building, create storage in all of the dead spots and take advantage of the focal points.
The staircase hallway physically and aesthetically unites the spaces with the finishes and detailing.
The sound system, radiators and technology are hidden within the fabric of the building.
The built-in ‘Dutch bed’ in the guest room uses reclaimed materials from the house and can be closed off behind a curtain so the room can be used as a study.
The main bedroom has a cantilevered bed supported from the fixed headboard which maximises the clear floor area.
The whole building has been wired with category 6 cables, multi-media and electric curtains in the primary rooms.
A hexagon motif is used for the top floor wardrobes in the dressing room, which also has a bath, allowing views of the ships passing into Brunel’s Cumberland basin canal.
Because of the rhomboid footprint of the building, a new wall was constructed and clad with waxed rusty steel panels, hiding a WC and store cupboards, to square off the office/living space on the ground floor.
Corrian work surfaces contrast with the original stone walls and floor in the home office, creating a London warehouse look complemented by the waxed rusty steel wall and industrial lights.
We used orange buttoned upholstery for the primary doors, bedheads and principle pieces of furniture.
All the floors and exterior joinery were painted Farrow and Ball 'off black', unifying the spaces and providing a cost-effective floor cover.
Contemporary black out and sun roller blinds are softened with trims and disappear behind pelmets.
Original plaster walls, mouldings and joinery were repaired to retain their original surface textures.
The curved Corrian striped wall on the top floor shower enclosure creates a warm and friendly space that ‘bleeds’ into the main area.
The guest wet-room walls have been curved and clad with mirror mosaic mirror tiles off-set to diffuse the reflections.
This project has been featured on TV programmes, in national and local magazines, and has been on the ‘open house’ circuit during Architecture Week.
The Granby Hill project has been on the Bristol City Council's website as an exemplary Grade II listed building refurbishment.
We hope we have proved it is possible to use contemporary finishes and technology when refurbishing a Grade II listed property, to complement the building, fit with a modern lifestyle and uphold the ethos of the listed building legislation.