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The Custom House

19th century commercial buildings to modern offices

The long established Barnstaple Accountancy firm of Perrins Ltd faced the same problem that many businesses do when they expand; how to find more space?
The main part of their premises on The Strand has a cellular plan form, as many  late 19th century commercial buildings do. However contemporary workplace design favours a more open plan arrangement, to make more efficient use of space and create a more integrated, less insular feel.  But how to achieve this without extending the footprint of an older building in a Conservation Area?

Our solution was to convert a former snooker hall attached to the rear of the building to form a large open plan office suite on the first floor and then extend above this to achieve the same again on the second floor. By treating the whole extension as habitable roof, (with a gentle curved profile, the height was kept below that of the existing building.  This concept was followed through in the external materials with standing seam zinc chosen for both walls and roof to tone in with the existing slate roofs.  In this way the new and old parts of the building work together to create a balanced whole. Full planning and conversation area consent was achieved for this contemporary extension

Client: Perrins Ltd
Status: Phase 1 Completed 2009
Value: £ undisclosed