07.09.2014 Peter Popp

A Holiday Among the Ruins: Astley Castle

Astley Castle has a long, eventful history. Over the past 800 years the edifice, which stands just a few kilometres east of Birmingham, has been altered and expanded again and again. First used as a manor home, it later served as a castle, fortress and military base until finally being transformed into a hotel in the 1960s.  In 1978, large sections of the historic structure were destroyed in a fire. Several attempts to restore the castle to its original form failed due to the prohibitive cost. Eventually, salvation appeared in the form of a competition sponsored by the Landmark Trust, a foundation dedicated to saving historically valuable buildings from ruin. With a budget of 2.5 million pounds and a fine feeling for detail, the neglected castle has now been reborn as a  holiday home for eight guests. The architectural approach was the topic of intense discussion among all the parties involved, as is shown in the following film. Architects: Witherford Watson Mann Architects, London
Castle Drive, Nuneaton, CV10 7QD Warwickshire, UK
Project data Client: The Landmark Trust
Architects: Witherford Watson Mann Architects,
Team: Freddie Phillipson, Jan Liebe, Daniela Bueter, Joerg Maier, Lina Meister

Structural engineer: Price & Myers
Cost calculation: Jackson Coles
General contractor: William Anelay
Feasability study: Building Design Partnership
Find an extended report in DETAIL 5/2014 "Reburbishment".
The project won the RIBA 2013 Stirling Prize.
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