Knole - Conservation Studio

"an inspiring insight into the work of conservators"

The Project

The Conservation Studio is a new facility dedicated to conserving historical objects of the Knole collection. Located in a medieval barn, the Studio has been carefully converted into a two storey building with the original pitched roof profile having been restored after a fire in 1887. The new purpose designed Studio will offer an insight into the work of conservators and their important contribution to the conservation profession. Visitors will be able to observe specialists from multiple conservation disciplines in one location, and gain insight into a world rarely seen from behind closed doors. 


Building Control

Oculus have been involved in the building regulations aspect of the works since 2013, having been appointed by Rodney Melville + Partners, Architects for the project.


Photos courtesy of The National Trust - James Dobson 

CASE STUDY
Astley Castle

A 12th-century fortified manor which had been lying in ruins since a fire in 1978, Astley Castle had seen additions and revisions carried out in almost every century since Medieval times. Throughout its history the site has been owned by no less than three Queens of England.

The Landmark Trust boldly set out to reinstate occupancy of Astley Castle in a manner appropriate for the 21st century.  After careful recording, those parts of the building beyond pragmatic repair were taken down.  By inserting a groundbreaking modern holiday home into the shell of the ancient castle, the architects, Witherford Watson Mann, were able to both stabilise the ruin and create the next layer of the building’s history.  The results showcase how modern architecture can be unashamedly but sympathetically stitched into ancient fabric to significant effect.

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CASE STUDY
Apex Hotel - Bath

The existing eight storey office block was demolished and construction began early 2015. The hotel,  a new 4* luxury hotel in central Bath opened as planned boasting 177 contemporary bedrooms, a 400 capacity conference facitlity and event spaces, making it Bath’s largest hotel in this regard.

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CASE STUDY
The Gainsborough Bath Spa

The Gainsborough building situated in the heart of Bath was formerly part of the City of Bath College. A Grade II listed building from the Georgian period designed by John Pinch the Elder. The conversion to a 5* luxury hotel presented many challenges. The new multi-storey Lower Borough Walls wing reflects the host building architecturally. In the heart of the hotel lies Spa Village Bath, which is quite unique insofar as it has access to the natural thermal mineral-rich waters, making it the only natural thermal spa inside a hotel in the UK.

The main stair protection was particularly challenging as enclosing it was not an option from a conservation perspective. A solution of discreetly placed fire curtains operating on the fire alarm system to provide protection was developed. There are also isolated areas with sprinkler protection to provide an alternative to passive fire protection.

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