Shaws of Darwen

The last visit I made as part of my research for my Winston Churchill Fellowship was one of the first I planned and one of the most exciting and informative; to Shaws of Darwen in Lancashire. Jon Wilson and I had talked on the phone since I first applied for the opportunity and I expressed my hopes for the project which seemed dreamlike at the time.  When we met a year later having completed my research in USA we had even more to discuss. I was reminded of how hopeful I felt in applying for the Fellowship a whole year ago and how I couldn’t resist but make contact, before I knew I had been successful, with a couple of the key people I hoped to meet.

Over a coffee I outlined my project and what I had found and the gaps in my research. Jon explained his focus in the company and showed me press from their recent high profile completed projects. First things first we made our bacon buttie order and proceeded with a tour of the facility. I thought I’d give a little pictoral tour here:

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The exciting new build projects we looked at were:

Holburne Museum, Bath, Eric Parry Architects

Completed only last year, the dark blue green terracotta extension is a powerful contrast to the bath stone museum. Suspended vertical ‘fins’ add an interesting technical and visual element to the façade. An interesting use of terracotta and contemporary glass design sits against the bath stone of eighteenth century Sydney Hotel.

The extension to the rear works with the woodland greenery that surrounds it and provides nearly double the previously available exhibition space. The terracotta units themselves are a complex depth of lustrous foliage type green, which took some time to agree on in manufacture and at the design stage, with the planners originally asking for a terracotta colour that emulates bath stone.

I think it looks stunning and I can’t wait to see it when I visit Bath this weekend (under the guise of a Romantic weekend away…ssshhhh), so you can expect a little focus piece then.

St James’ Gateway, Picadilly, London – Eric Parry Architects

Located in a prominent position on Piccadilly, amidst historic stone buildings, the striking design of this building will set it apart.

The majority of the façade is to be glazed gloss white, reflecting the traditional style of its neighboring buildings. Strong colours are introduced around the windows with a powerful red fading out.



At high level a giant string course stretches the width of the building.

Can’t wait to see this one, and read the reviews…

Quandrant 3Stan Hope

The former Regents Palace Hotel has been redeveloped with Shaws contributing terracotta for the restoration as well as the new build:


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