Oliver Architecture were appointed as architect to design the construction of a new toilet block and the refurbishment of the existing toilet block, together with the construction of a greenhouse at Baddesley Clinton.
In 2018 Baddesley Clinton undertook Experience Design analysis to assess the infrastructure required to support the visitor experience and ease pressure on the historic core of the property. The provision of an adequate number and quality of toilets was identified as a current weakness, and a priority for future investment. As such, the National Trust began planning the refurbishment and extension of the toilet block in 2019, but funding, planning issues, and the pandemic, meant that it was delayed.
Phase 1 of the project began in 2021 and involved building a new gardeners' greenhouse on a new site at Baddesley, making way for the new toilet block extension. The greenhouse was completed in 2022.
The existing toilet facilities were in need of refurbishment, no longer meeting visitor requirements, especially during busy periods. A location behind the existing toilet block was chosen for the construction of the new building, directly behind the existing block.
The updated facilities include six additional toilets, together with baby-changing facilities and a separate accessible toilet. The new building also allows for increased flexibility; by incorporating a sliding linking door between the original toilets and the new building, there is the option of inceasing capacity during busy periods, or closing off the space during quieter times.
Work has begun to repair and redecorate the Dhamma Talaka Peace Pagoda Vihara in Ladywood, ahead of its 25th anniversary.
The Dhamma Talaka Peace Pagoda was the first of its kind in the Western hemisphere. Designed in a traditional Burmese style, it opened in 1998, and in 2002, the Sangharama Monastery was added to the same site. The Peace Pagoda is actually a replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yagon in Myanmar, and the pagoda’s name means ‘Reservoir of the teaching’ referring to its position next to Edgbaston Reservoir.
Part of peace pagoda’s charm is that it was hand-built using traditional methods, but using modern materials. As conservation architect, our role is to lead on the repair and restoration work; this includes repairs to the existing decoration which is failing and currently letting water into the dome. As such, the existing gold paint layer of the spire has been removed, and cleaned back to the hand-built concrete structure. This enables us to carry out essential repairs to cracks and holes which have developed in the concrete of the dome, preventing future water ingress. Concurrently, the project is also upgrading and renewing the tiled floor of the entrance.
The project is due to finish this summer and the Pagoda will soon be brought back to its former glory, with its gold-painted stepped spire gleaning once more.
Take a look at some of the recent progress photos below.