The refurbishment and restoration of a community hall in the Ulverston Conservation Area, Cumbria.

Owl Barn sits on a quiet lane in the centre of the historic market town of Ulverston. A neglected structure that has been reconfigured many times over, this small building has been on cartographical record for over 150 years. The building’s role as a gathering space in the neighbourhood is well established and IDK's refurbishment breathes fresh life to this community space, creating a high-performance flexible gathering space, with private rooms and a kitchen flooded with natural light via a new low-carbon roof system with skylights.

In partnership with Darwen Terracotta, IDK drew upon references from local Victorian tile detailing, the geology of Cumbria and the variable shifting weather patterns to develop a dimensional ceramic facade that transforms the primitive building in to a glass-like object nestled within the back lanes. The restoration is practical and symbolic, reclaiming and celebrating a long-standing town tradition of gathering at this communal space.


Retrofit & refurbishment / Community & well-being
Collaborators: Darwen Terracota