Beaucastle Coach House

Year: 2011
Client: Clarenco / Amazing Retreats

This is another interesting project for Amazing Retreats and involves work to two of the buildings on the Beaucastle estate in Bewdley.

Beaucastle, which is a Locally Listed building, was built in 1877 for George Baker, a wealthy Birmingham industrialist. Baker was a close friend of John Ruskin, whose essays on art and architecture were extremely influential in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Although based in Italy at the time, Ruskin was instrumental in the appointment of its architect, Richard Doubleday, who embraced the Gothic style in his design of Beaucastle. The influence of Venetian architecture, the qualities of which Ruskin expounded in his book ‘The Stones of Venice’, is clearly evident on both the main house and the coach house.

Howl Associates has been involved in the restoration and conversion of the existing lodge to create two dwellings and the proposed conversion and extension of the former coach house to create a function room, kitchen, bar, toilets, mini spa and external swimming pool for the use of the main house.

The coach house and stable block, which date from 1884, adopt the same palette of materials as the main house, with similar gothic detailing to windows and doorways. Howl Associates prepared a number of design options using simple 3D computer modelling techniques to help Amazing Retreats evaluate their preferred development strategy for the building. While work to the lodge has been completed, the work to the coach house has only been progressed to a Planning application stage at present.

The proposals illustrate how Howl Associates can help clients explore a range of well researched development options for historic buildings to allow the potential of the buildings ton be optimised.