Redundancy can often herald a miserable period in a building’s history but it also offers opportunities for those who can see the almost endless potential of historic buildings for adaptation and flexible reuse. In this category we have shortlisted two schemes, listed here in alphabetical order.
Wem Mill in Shrewsbury is an early nineteenth century mill, formerly disused and at risk and now also converted to apartments. Its recent history is the usual post-industrial tale of disuse, decay and dereliction, not confined to the north but also evident in southerly counties where housing shortages are most acute. It makes perfect sense, as here, to solve both problems together by converting mills, with their large, open-plan internal volumes, to reasonably high-density housing. On brownfield sites such as this, where demolition is often the preferred option, surviving historic buildings can provide an anchor, a fixed point that roots a new housing development in its historic context.
The winner will be announced on the evening of 31 October 2012.