European Building Materials is proud to have supplied bricks for the visionary renovation and conversion of Astley Castle, winner of the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize 2013 for the greatest contribution to British architecture.
In a remarkable melding of ancient and modern design, architects Witherford Watson Mann inserted groundbreaking contemporary accommodation into the ruined shell of a fortified manor house in Warwickshire, which dates back to the twelfth century and was previously owned by three English Queens.
Astley Castle was on the verge of collapse after a fire in 1978 but was rescued by the Landmark Trust, which saves historic buildings which would otherwise be lost. The project made the structure habitable for holiday lettings and provided permanent public access to the site.
The distinctive mellow brickwork provides a strong presence, both to the modernist house and the ancient shell of the ruined castle walls. We worked closely with the architects on brick detailing and the selection of flat Danish facing bricks and special angled bricks made by Petersen Tegl to a slimline 37mm height Flensborg format.
The first challenge was to incorporate new brickwork into the medieval structure. The architects wanted to stabilise the ruin with a spine of masonry threaded throughout its main section and built directly onto the wall lines of the original stonework. Then the same brick was selected internally and externally for the crisply detailed new house conversion.