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ASTLEY CASTLE RENOVATION PROJECT WINS RIBA’S HIGHEST HONOUR

The most prestigious award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Stirling Prize, has been awarded to a redeveloped 12th-century manor house in Warwickshire, converted into a comfortable modern holiday residence.

Astley Castle, a dilapidated brick structure which was associated with three queens of England, was given a £1.35 million revamp, signalling the possible beginning of a new era of restoring historic buildings in the UK. Thanks to modern architecture techniques and an innovative approach, the ravaged building has been turned into a magnificent home.

The ABC was notified that architects decided against the idea of carrying out a painstaking restoration process, which would have taken a lot of time and money. Instead, they opted for a bold move – make the most of what is left and add contemporary design to it. The result is a remarkable marriage between the old and the new. The building now boasts large glass walls incorporated into the original medieval stonework. A new bronze and timber staircase has been constructed, leading up from the old brick floors, and the new masonry work matches the old walls in a perfect way.

Astley Castle was restored by Witherford Watson Mann Architects on behalf of the Landmark Trust, a charity that rescues abandoned buildings with historic significance. The Landmark Trust commented that seeing what can be done for buildings that were previously considered beyond repair could be a real inspiration for charities, developers and communities.