Payford Mill

When an ancient mill retains the values that has made it a much-loved friend to generations of people you treat it with reverence. Such a regal entity should never be tainted by add-ons, yet an extension involving cleverly-crafted design and contemporary materials to create a link between past and present might work. In this instance, it did, resulting in a unique structure with multi-purpose potential that complemented the mill.

A glass box became the low-impact conduit, although aligning the two was hardly routine, for the mill’s outer walls had heaved and sighed over hundreds and years. Then there was the threat of flooding that comes from being in a flood plain. Our new structure, with its high-tech provisions, needed to keep its feet dry, so we engineered it to sit above ground level and then introduced a cunning ploy that allowed ‘Ol Man River to glide through the footings of the building, but to exit, too. Think holes and mesh.

We clad the steel-framed, sedum-roofed newcomer in aged copper that helped blend the property into the sandstone-cliff backdrop. The finished result was proof that design is not only how it looks, but how it works. Simplicity complete.

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