Estate Offices, The Cart Hovel, Calke Abbey

Client: National Trust
Completed: 2013

Budget: £322,000

Following the successful delivery of new public welfare facilities within the Listed walled gardens at Calke Abbey, Allan Joyce Architects were asked to help provide new office accommodation for the National Trust’s admin team. The plan was to convert an existing Grade II Listed Cart Hovel, within a group of outbuildings near to the Grade I Listed main house. The existing open barn had been left in its original form for many years and was used to store much of the estates mechanical equipment.

During the initial design stages considerable consultation was undertaken with The National Trust’s Architectural Panel. We produced detailed design options for the external treatment for discussion with the panel to find an acceptable solution. The new external walls were positioned behind the existing timber columns, to allow the simplicity of the original structure to be read. The building required some sensitive restoration, particularly these timber columns. The main contractor worked with the National Trust’s own craftsmen to create high specification modern offices whilst using best practice conservation techniques on the original building.

Internally, the existing King post trusses guided towards an open plan layout in the main office space. A careful balance was struck between improving the thermal qualities of the external walls and retaining the original character of the cart shed. Small panels of brickwork were carefully cleaned back and act as feature walls in the interiors scheme.