Park Street Houses, Berkshire
These Grade II* Town Houses in Park Street, Windsor were converted from individual residential dwellings to a combined office building over 7o years ago. David Herbert Architects were appointed to return these back to homes, and to their former glory.
Many of the internal walls had been removed from both properties, parts were knocked through and even a complete staircase removed from one – all for the sake of “open plan” office space. An in depth study of the properties was undertaken, including a visit to the Berkshire Records Office, which amazingly uncovered some original drawings, illustrating the former layouts from when they were built. The records also highlighted some later addition toilet extensions, which had been removed in the office conversion in place of an “octagonal service tower”, providing staff facilities. Through negotiation with English Heritage, and the Conservation Department, the original layouts were reinstated, the service tower agreed to be removed, and the earlier toilet additions reinstated – in a more contemporary approach.
A further glazed structure was designed, approved and built making reference to the proportions of the existing dwelling in its form. This box form creates a dramatic 7m high atrium, which is now used as a light and bright dining space looking onto the garden. To help manage heat gain, the design cleverly incorporates a hidden electrically operated opening window at high level – triggered by temperature sensors, lifting discretely to allow the rising heat to escape. The return of the glass box, provides a private balcony to the master suite floor, which again enjoys the view to the landscaped gardens below.
Internally all detailing, including timberwork, cornicing, fireplaces, and of course the missing staircase were added back. Windows were refurbished, and new entrance doors installed, returning these properties back to individual homes.