Private House, South Yorkshire


We were invited by our client to come up with an imaginative solution to convert a derelict dovecote which is at risk, into a domestic dwelling. The building, octagonal in form circa c1800, is Grade II listed and had been adapted over time. Pigsties previously occupied the ground floor and an additional second storey in brick had been added to accommodate a large water tank. However, the 1000 or so nesting boxes to the perimeter walls of the first floor remained relatively intact.

The proposals include the removal of the dividing walls forming the ground floor pigsties to allow space for an entrance lobby, wc and kitchen-dining area. A modern, steel and glass staircase is to wind around the perimeter of the octagonal structure up to the first floor where a lounge space will occupy the entire level. The nesting boxes are to be repaired where necessary and be entirely shrouded in protective glass to create a ‘feature room’ whereby the original use of the building is still evident. The modern staircase will continue to wind to second floor level where the existing water tank shall be removed to allow the creation of two bedrooms and a family bathroom.

Externally, a new roof is proposed, covered in French clay tiles, with the upper, later brick section being rendered to better match the limestone walls below. The scheme also includes the erection of a detached double garage, constructed in locally sourced stone with clay tile roof.

Detailed negotiations were required with the local authority’s conservation officer to overcome various hurdles – particularly the treatment of the existing internal nesting boxes and to satisfy the officer’s desire that there should be no extension to the building to create additional living space.

The solution allows the building, which is at great risk from further decay, to be converted to a new use, whilst still respecting its character and built form. The scheme was granted both a planning permission and a listed building consent.

Architecture | Creative Conservation | Heritage

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