Backbarrow Ironworks Housing Development

Since 2008 the site of the former Backbarrow Ironworks has been in a partially finished state. This meant leaving 17 housing units, 2 office buildings and a small industrial/office building to ruin.

In 2015 we were asked by the client to create a feasibility study to provide a scheme for the viable regeneration of the site. We aimed to create a proposal which was an improvement upon the previous architect’s scheme, providing a greater and more practical number of units and a more viable construction cost.

The team reviewed the existing structure and assessed the costly constraints of the previous scheme. This allowed us to provide a solution which maintained the integrity of the existing party walls, redesigning the 17 houses into 43 apartments and 5 houses. Each of these properties is contained within the individual dwellings with a small number of new stair towers constructed to access the upper floors.

The existing office blocks were not viable and there was no demand in the market for them so they were demolished and the site was opened up to create enough parking for the new development.

After gaining the support of the local council, we were able to develop the site. The regeneration has not only provided much-needed housing in the area but has also funded the renovation of one of the Lake District’s most important industrial heritage assets, the former Ironworks Foundary.

The Ironworks is defined as a Scheduled Ancient Monument on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’ and it will be open for the public to view upon completion.