Solearth Architecture now offers our combined expertise on the creative renewal of older buildings and protected structures, and practical cost-effective sustainable design in one package.
It takes care, experience and creativity to get the best out of an existing building, whether it's a careful restoration of a protected structure or a creative transformation of a less precious but still noble older building.
Protected structures are rightly defended by strong legislation that carries with it more procedural and technical challenges. Approached methodically, holistic and integrated solutions that unlock hidden potentials and highlight ancient qualities can be employed with stunning results. Majestic entrances, high ceilings, crafted decorations, quality finishes and large windows as well as a generosity of circulation spaces are only some of the assets that protected structures typically offer and to which we are glad to pay homage in our design proposals.
Existing buildings from barn to school, and communities of such buildings, offer more potential for innovative designs. They often offer many points of departure from which to generate ideas and almost always have a robustness that means unusual contrasts and harmonies can emerge by mixing old and new.
The most significant challenge in the reuse of old buildings is to thermally upgrade without impacting on their heritage value. All buildings, but especially older ones, are, in effect, ecosystems; a dynamic interaction of heat, light, moisture and microrganism. Adjusting the existing balance between air, moisture and heat is a requisite of any project but must be handled with knowledge and consideration. Much research shows that maximising one aspect over a more balanced approach across a range of aspects causes problems to appear elsewhere in a structure. Many of the recommended materials and strategies to appropriately and safely upgrade older buildngs are the same as those used in natural /green construction and Solearth have no end of experience in their uses.