The owner was keen to transform the site into something truly special, and has certainly succeeded – the project was featured on the Channel 4 television show Ugly House to Lovely House as an example of how to update a once unsightly building. The structure was in desperate need of renovation to its external façade. The original shell of the 1980s construction was in poor condition and built from inappropriate materials that clashed with the aesthetics and Victorian heritage of the area.
Upgrading with brick
The challenge faced by Chiles Evans + Care Architects was to create a more pleasing aesthetic by upgrading the existing fabrics, whilst also improving the building’s energy efficiency and complementing the local vernacular. This small but challenging project was successfully achieved within budget.
Contemporary brick wall
The architects chose clay bricks to replace the original external skin with a crafted brick wall, which incorporates a pattern to create a new decorative façade. The brick of choice offers a classic look enriched by aesthetic variation in colour and texture. The product’s striking appearance leaves a lasting impression – allowing the building to stand out, yet simultaneously blend in with its surroundings thanks to its neutral tones.
New energy standard
The renewal of the front façade was driven by both aesthetic perception and energy performance. Once the external brick was removed, the poor state of the original construction was revealed in full. The building had no insulation, and the internal skin of thermalite blocks was cracked. It became clear that whatever material were to be used, it would need to be durable and have naturally energy efficient properties; clay offers both, and has a long life span, which means that it will retain these properties and continue to perform well for several generations. Naturally, clay seemed to be the best product to choose in combination with its outstanding look – it was the right choice.
Project nameOgle Drive, Nottingham, UK
ArchitectChiles Evans + Care Architects
Year of completion2017