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With an architectural language developed and an understanding of the requirements of the brief gained, spaces can start to be planned. There are four main interventions into the site. Firstly, New Castle House is to be converted into a malthouse. One new building will be constructed to connect it to the base of the cliff and the newly excavated fermentation cave within. Another new building sits within Brewhouse Yard and houses biomass boilers to distill bio-ethanol. Finally, the ruins of the castle are converted to residence with a series of improvised structures built within what remains of the original building.

Simple Massing

The design takes the pitched roof vernacular of surrounding buildings and distorts it, playing with the angle of pitch and the configuring of the spaces below. The arrangement of the 2 new builds within Brewhouse Yard strengthens the definition of a courtyard.

Space Planning


Early Plans

Preliminary Plan of Brewhouse Yard

Stages of Development

Preliminary Plans of Processing Building and Biomass Distillery







Processing Building at the Base of Castle Rock

Present Day Castle Plans The castle as it exists is a series of larger rooms intended for hospitality and smaller rooms for bedrooms and staff quarters.

West Elevation

East Elevation



South Elevation

North Elevation



A level of dereliction is assumed for the Castle. The South-Western wing at the top of the cliff is the most exposed to rain and the prevailing wind. It is the most prominent part of the structure, and the most likely part to be attacked. Before any renovation it would be a shell of a building, with the strong exterior walls surviving but with floors having collapsed in.

Projected Destruction

Derelict Castle Plans

The exposed south-western corner of the Castle is exposed to wind and rain, and so suffers the most damage during the time for which it is derelict.

West Elevation 1:1000 South Elevation

East Elevation 1:1000 North Elevation

The structural strategy for the renovation of the castle is a set of exposed trusses and joists forming a framework which improvised shelters can interact with, sitting at various levels within the frame. The density of construction within the walls would reach the point of blocking out light from above, with it filtering down through gaps into the darkness beneath.

Preliminary Intention for Reappropriating the Ruined Castle

In its final form, the project lies draped over the cliff-face. Mortimer’s Hole travels up inside the rock while a walkway made of ramps traverses the outside, zig-zagging back and forward around the distillation column. Half of the castle is unharmed and turned over to dormitory space, the other half appears in a state of reconstruction, covered by a mesh of joists, beams and scaffolding supporting the structures inside. New Castle House is converted to a malthouse which passes malted barley and other crops over a raised walkway into a long thin processing building. This building extends into the cliff, excavating a cave holding several fermentors. The biomass-distillation building sits against a man-made earth embankment, insulating the boilers.

Site Layout

Processing Building

The cliff becomes the physical representation of the struggle that the people have to overcome. By building upon it, coming to terms with it and ultimately beating it, the people come to terms with their situation and begin to turn it to their advantage.

The architectural language that has been developed and used in these buildings gives a sense of familiarity, with domestically scaled features such as doors and windows. But it does not try to be cosy or overly comfortable. Practicality is always prioritised, with corrugated steel and polycarbonate cladding and unsanded timber accounting for a large part of the construction.

The integration of the production process has been considered at all levels. The building doesn’t have to be much more than a shell to shelter the process, but it goes further so that the building is part of the process itself. This touches upon the idea of machine architecture, but sits better with the idea of the building as a machine, placing efficiency above aesthetic.

Preliminary Visualisation from the Base of Castle Rock

Design Development  

Bringing together the requirements of the brief with the architectural language and site.