New Offices, Workshops and Visitors' Centre, Kilburn *

Client: Robert Thompson's Craftsmen Ltd

Robert Thompson's Craftsmen Limited (widely referred to as 'Mousey Thompson') have an unrivalled reputation for producing premier quality traditional oak furniture, each trademarked with the famous 'mouse' symbol. The firm approached Geoffrey Holland several years ago to design new premises for the office staff and directors, alongside their existing showrooms and manufacturing facilities in the village of Kilburn, which lies within the North York Moors National Park.

The new building contains a main office, kitchen facilities, two secondary offices and a new suite of toilets. An adjacent building contains staff facilities and stores and also provides a viewing gallery at first floor level which allows visitors to look directly in to the workshop area to observe the craftsmen working.

The main external walls to the new buildings are constructed in Eskdale sandstone with roofs covered with large sandstone slates. Internally, English oak was used for as many of the structural members and components as possible including an internal cruck frame and floor beams, floorboards, doors, windows, the external porch and weatherboarding to the workshop garage.

A later phase two project was carried out to extend the firm's visitor and interpretation facilities nearby with Kenny Brown as Project Architect. The works included the renovation of the derelict 18th century listed cottage where Robert Thompson himself had once lived. The building was carefully restored and extended to provide showroom and shop facilities over two levels. Brick-built lean-to structures with slated roofs to the rear of the site provide kitchen and tea room facilities which open out onto an external terrace.

Architecture | Creative Conservation | Heritage

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