Lychgate Cottages, 3 – 6 Priory Row, Coventry

Constructing Excellence

These Grade II Listed Cottages date back to the 14th Century and are located adjacent to the Grade I ruins of the 12th Century St Mary’s Priory and Cathedral.

The refurbishment of these Cottages, specifically, is part of our client’s over-arching strategy for maximising the use of heritage assets. Our Client, Historic Coventry Trust, uses innovative ways to sustain historic places, for gains in tourism and commercial revenue, and creating opportunities for people to engage with the places, to inspire them, and to connect with the City’s history.

We were asked to help with the sensitive refurbishment of the Cottages and grounds, to make them suitable for short break accommodation, as part of the City’s heritage tourism offer. We led a design and conservation-based approach to the early refurbishment works, and included a number of significant interventions, to help make the Cottages more efficient in future use.

From the outset, we used a “less is more” approach to the design work, and worked collaboratively with the Client group, the local Conservation Officer and Historic England, to ensure acceptable design and conservation outcomes. This involved generating close scale drawn details, undertaking enabling works, and further discovery work, post Planning Approval and Listed Building Consent. Collaboration was embedded in the day-to-day progress of our works, and required constant, progressive communication of detail, on each conservation design or refurbishment matter.

Three Winning Facts:
  1. This project involved the regeneration of a heritage asset, within a framework of assets being refurbished, based in the City Centre, and now used as an active and integrated part of the City’s heritage tourism offer. This is one chapter in the story told.
  2. The Project used a traditional, team-based approach, from RIBA Stage 1, drawing on the skills and talent of all team members-design and construction-to think collaboratively and in partnership with each other.
  3. The Design Philosophy of “less is more” was a constant mantra, encouraging all team members to let the Cottages tell their story, and to continually make conscious design decisions, to enhance and celebrate the history.