Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Whitchurch Silk Mill, Hampshire Renovation Project, English Interior and Building, Architecture Images

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Visitors Centre in south England – design by Hampshire County Council Property Services

18 Feb 2019

Whitchurch Silk Mill

Architects: Hampshire County Council Property Services

Location: Hampshire, UK

Hampshire County Council Property Services complete work at historic Whitchurch Silk Mill

Hampshire County Council Property Services’ multi-disciplinary architecture and design team have completed the renovation and extension of Whitchurch Silk Mill. Built in 1815, Whitchurch Silk Mill is of national significance as the oldest working silk mill in the UK. In 2016 The Mill received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to repair, conserve and extend the site and buildings and appointed Hampshire County Council Architects Heritage team to deliver the project.

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Sitting within the conservation area of Whitchurch, Hampshire, the Silk Mill is located on an island within the River Test, a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a unique example of a classic Chalk Stream and one of the most species-rich lowland rivers in England.

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

The site comprises the Grade II* listed mill building, a smaller shop building and two landscaped areas to the north east and south west of the mill building which is in the minimal classical style that was favoured in the Georgian period for industrial buildings.

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

The approach to the repair and conservation works was one of minimal intervention, repairing only damaged or decayed areas of the fabric of the building, and undertaking any new works required in a sensitive and discreet way. Detailed analysis of the existing building fabric was carried out to identify the key areas of significance, the building having been subject to many alterations since first constructed, including the addition of a third floor in 1817.

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Design interventions were judged relative to the sensitivity of each element and repairs were undertaken using traditional methods and materials such as lime mortars and handmade bricks. As much historic fabric as possible was retained.

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

In addition to the conservation works, an extension and alterations of the existing shop enabled the creation of enhanced retail, ticketing and café facilities, enabling the cafe to be removed from the mill building and thereby providing space for learning activities. The building was extended using a modern palette of zinc cladding, black timber and aluminium framed windows and is recessive in scale, preserving a clear view of the North elevation of the mill.

The project has secured the future for silk manufacturing at the mill and created an inspiring and beautiful place to visit and learn about its significant past.

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Architect’s Comments:
The constraints imposed by the SSSI, the conservation area and the listed Mill building itself resulted in a challenging project for all involved. As a result of the repair and conservation works, together with the new, accessible visitor facilities, there is now a secure future for Whitchurch Silk Mill, not only as a visitor attraction, but also a place of work where traditional silk weaving skills are kept alive.
Jon Skipper, Heritage Architect, Hampshire County Council

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Client’s view:
The Preserving the Fabric project has secured the future for silk weaving at the mill by creating an inspiring and beautiful place to visit and learn about its significant past. The new Welcome Building hosts a destination café and gift shop which will help us to become self-sustaining by 2025. The restoration and access improvements in the Mill have improved the visitor experience and we can now look forward to delighting visitors for another 200 years.
Sue Tapliss, Whitchurch Silk Mill Director

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Whitchurch Silk Mill, Hampshire – Building Information

Location: Whitchurch
Type Of Project: Conservation, internal alterations and new build extension.
Client: Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust
Architects: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Landscape and Planning Consultants N/A
Structural Engineers: Marbas Engineering Consultancy
M&E consultant: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Quantity surveyor: IKS Consulting Ltd
Planning supervisor: N/A
Lighting consultant: N/A
Main contractor: Mountjoy Ltd
Selected subcontractors and suppliers: tbc
Funding: Heritage Lottery Fund, Trusts, Charities, Foundations and private donations.
Tender date: July 2017
Start on site date: November 2017
Completion date: October 2018
Contract duration: 11 months
Gross internal floor area: 802sqm

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire

Photography: Joe Low

Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire images / information received 180219




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