Exeter’s Living Space Architects take first prize at the Devon Historic Trust Conservation Awards

Living Space Architects took first place in its category at the Devon Historic Trust Conservation Awards last night for its repair to historic building Staddons Cottage in Walkhampton Devon.

The annual awards, which took place at Ugbrooke House in Chudleigh, encourage those who work with historic buildings and acknowledge best conservation practices and innovative designs.

Staddons Cottage in Walkhampton was the subject of Living Space’s most recent success, having been transformed from a rotting, damp shell of a house to a thriving family home, history intact.

“When our clients took on the project, they told me people thought they were mad” said Kirsty Curnow Bayley, Founding Director of Living Space Architects. “It was dark, it was damp, it was rotting… it really was a wreck, but I knew we could help them turn it into an amazing home”

Purchased at auction, the enthusiasm of the owner and vision of renewal drew architects at Living Space to take on the challenging project. Significant historic features such as a medieval fireplace and newel stairs came to light as the work progressed, and new, contemporary elements were added creating contrast and enhancing the property.

“Unpeeling the layers of neglect was a challenge and at one point we thought we would never be able to dry the building out” Kirsty recalled. “The house is now a warm and cosy home and completely unrecognisable from the dark and damp cottage we started with.”

The project took 16 months of hard work from the determined team of seven. The time invested to make sure the task was completed in a sustainable way, and that the building’s historic significance and charm was maintained captured the judges attention, and the innovative developments helped transform the building and make it what it is today.

“Staddons was a wonderful project to work on as it was full of layers history” Kirsty said. “We are really grateful to our clients for believing in the building and allowing the builder time to do a fantastic job of the repairs.”