I know my blog mostly focuses on the modern and the contemporary, but I must admit that I do have a soft spot for historical buildings. Its probably because I'm a bit of a romantic at heart. I would hazard a guess that (and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this) it stems from all the historical romances I read in my teens. It really disturbs me when I see historic buildings allowed to go to ruins, something that sadly happens too often here in India. These buildings have so much charm and tell us so much about our own history and culture.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing an old building being reused and reinvented. Breathing new life into an old, decrepit structure is no mean task, I imagine, but to me its well worth the effort. So I was delighted when I chanced upon this lovely story, the amazing renovation of Astley Castle in Warwickshire, England, on Designboom.
Astley Castle was originally the royal family's fortified manor, until it was turned into a hotel in world war two. It had been in a state of ruin for years, until the Landmark Trust stepped in
and proposed to renovate it. I was completely charmed by the finished product, carried out by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. They have breathed life into the ancient structure, while also celebrating the story of its ruin. I love they way the new brick construction merges with the original masonry elements so subtly and yet also manages to pay homage to the old structure. Another plus is the contemporary styled decor. It adds a sort of lightness and provides the perfect contrast to the medieval surroundings. Take a look.
Here's the before....
Here's the after...
[All Images from Designboom]