The practice was commissioned by Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust to prepare feasibility studies to convert two historic bottle kilns into holiday accommodation. These remarkable structures have remained virtually intact and are all that remain of a large pottery factory in the grounds of a large house in Corbridge. The kilns are approximately 14 metres high and 10 metres in diameter at their base, although tapering to a narrow hole of 2 metres diameter at their apex and are entirely constructed of corbelled brickwork.
We considered it inappropriate to place any windows in the kiln and devised a single storey three bedroomed holiday home, lit entirely by top light through the oculus at the top of the kiln. An independent structure was proposed, separated from the kiln by a ring of light. Around the perimeter were the secondary spaces of bathroom, sleeping spaces, kitchen etc, whilst in the centre was the main living and dining space, which had its own pitched pyramidal roof around a central log burning stove flue. The four sections of this roof were to be counter-balanced so the roof could be opened to the oculus above it and so the drama of the kiln could be appreciated from the occupants.
Funding is currently being sort prior to submission of planning and listed building consent.