Clay at play
Charlton Farm Children’s Hospice wins the Clay Roofing Award 2008
40,000 roof tiles and fittings from Sandtoft contributed to the success of this project. Clay was the only roofing material that satisfied all the requirements for the conversion. Nestled in rolling pastures and woodland, the Charlton Farm Children’s Hospital stands on an extensive estate in Bristol. Since 2007, it has been a flagship development for the provision of the very best of palliative care for children with life limiting conditions and their families.
It took more than four years to renovate one of England’s leading hospice facilities on the former grade I and grade II listed derelict farm set of 3,000 square metres. The architects decided to go down the path of sustainable conservation and merged the carefully revitalised structures with the new buildings. 37,000 clay Gaelic tiles as well as 3,000 clay plain tiles, 900 clay ridge tiles and 600 fittings were specially made to order.
Aesthetic, flexible, functional.
These three properties were decisive for the choice of clay as the material for the roof tiles. The roof’s clay covering is extensive and complex; however, its refined design has a simultaneously subtle and unobtrusive effect in the overall architectural ensemble. Ultimately, the aim was to dispense with grand features and to reproduce the original, complicated roof construction. Only clay made it possible to recreate the historic roofing, with its special roof tile formats, ridge details and fittings. In total the project required 8 different styles of ridge in addition to 40,000 tiles. Particular care had to be given during the roof restoration to the population of pippistrelle bats that occupied some of the buildings. In order to preserve the bats’ habitat, special ‘bat tiles’ were made with access cowls to allow exit and entry to the roof structure.
A special jewel is the listed area in which butter was once produced. Here, the wonderful, ornamented roof was faithfully recreated to match the original. The hexagonal Buttery has a split level roof creating a turret detail and is finished with Sandtoft’s Humber clay plain tile with ornamental club tiles fixed in triple course alternate feature bands.
The children’s hospice has already won several prizes, including the respected “Clay Roofing Award” in London in 2008. As the jury justified its decision at the time, “It is an excellent example of a new built project blending with existing buildings, without compromising the original architectural integrity of the site in any way.”
- Children’s Hospice South West
- Grant Elliot, Lacey Hickie Caley Architects, The Design Studio, Exeter
- Main contractor:
- Bob French of Cowlin Construction Ltd, Bristol
- Mathew Camilleri of M Camilleri & Sons Roofing Ltd
About this entry
- architectum, ornamental club tiles, bristol, charlton farm children's hospice, Childrens Hospice South West, clay roofing award, listed building, ridge, bats, Gaelic Single Roman clay tile natural red, clay Gaelic tiles, Grant Elliot, humber clay plain tiles, Lacey Hickie Caley Architects, palliative care, sandtoft, reconstruction, taschen, roof tiles, clay ridge tiles, split level roof