Winners 2008

Out of the Hat

Out of the Hat Shop

The Hat Shop
Architect: Architecton
Client: Tewkesbury Borough Council
Awards: RIBA Award
Copyright: Architecton

The gentle care taken and the revealing of a story and history throughout the realisation of this project make it unique. The architects described an organic process where they got under the skin of the building to reveal many treasures, from the 15th Century interior design of painted walls with a grid and infill panels to the many construction treasures revealed as the works proceeded.

The buildings historical journey has been made legible for the public and gives it a personality of its own, and the repairing of the old fabric is sensitive and thoughtful. It is an excellent example of good conservation; very legible, sensitive, appreciative and careful.

The modern interventions are inventive and interesting. The three dimensional grid of the front window is unashamedly modern but when the light hits it has a quality similar to the old distorted glass in the small leaded panes on the upper floors.

The new additions to the back provide fully inclusive access, offices and other ancillary accommodation. Although modern in detailing and materials in terms of volume, they have been designed in the spirit of the history of the town. They step down as they move back into the site and the magnificent listed front elevation remains the principle element of the building.

The result is a charming project of which the users and the town of Tewksbury are proud.


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