The Printworks, Chichester, West Sussex
Tucked inside the city wall in the historic city of Chichester sits The Printworks, a modern mews style terrace. Developed by Colour Space London and interior designed by Clare Pascoe of Pascoe Interiors, the contemporary design with heritage inspiration is a breath of fresh air for Chichester’s residential market.
The Printworks is a privately gated mews of just four contemporary styled three and four bedroom townhouses. Located off St. John’s Street, inside the Roman city walls and within a minutes’ walk of the central amenities of the bustling town of Chichester, The Printworks is ideally suited for people who are downsizing or for looking relocate to a new city. Each property is laid out over four stories, and has an allocated parking space, south-facing garden and roof terrace. The top floor of each of the houses is a sunroom, which opens up on to the roof terrace, which overlooks a sedum roof. This room can also be used as a bedroom, allowing the owner unrivalled privacy in a modern setting.
The original site comprised of an old, industrial building that had been used by Moore & Tillyer, a family-run lithographic printing company, hence the name of the development, The Printworks. Mark Penfold of Colour Space London purchased the property in 2004 and has had an interesting journey with the site in the ten years since then:
“At the time of purchasing I was undecided whether to develop a residential or commercial scheme,” Mark explains. “However on my first inspection I immediately saw the potential the site offered to build a modern interpretation of the former print press building. My vision for any re-development would be a homage to its former use.”
When Mark acquired the site of The Printworks, pervious owners had received planning permission for five, small, one and two bed apartments with three parking spaces. However, Mark wanted to achieve a truly modern adaptation of the space, so he headed back to the planning authorities.
“The process to achieve my ambition of developing a modern style building was staged through submitting a number of planning applications with the Local Planning Authority, Chichester District Council and the Planning and Conservation Officers at the Council. I finally achieved planning permission to enhance the original designs in 2006. This included permission to add a further third story to the proposals.”
At this stage Mark noted a lack of modern, light and open plan offices in Chichester and commissioned an architect to convert the space into a modern office building. However, once the recession hit this became less of a viable option and Mark was able to revert to his original residential plans.
“In 2010 I commissioned a local architect, Ivon Blumer of Ivon Blumer Architects, to design a single form structure to provide a mews style terrace of four three to four bed town houses and four parking spaces. This was to adopt the form, mass and modern design already established by the planning permission granted for the office scheme. More than ten years on from acquiring the site and pursuing my ambition to build a unique product, the development is now complete and the houses are currently offered for sale through Hamptons in Chichester.”
Mark was keen to make the development strikingly contemporary and industrial-inspired, but Clare Pascoe of Pascoe Interiors felt sure that due to the historic surroundings, local buyers would need to see more to feel confident in the project and felt that interior designing one of the properties as a show home would provide a visual balance for prospective buyers. Mark and Clare met and the interior of The Printworks show home was born.
“Mark was very clear from the outset that The Printworks was a project to managed with a tight budget,” said Clare. “We both agreed that the style of the development would suit forward-thinking local buyers and London buyers looking for a weekend retreat, so the interior design had to be generic enough to suit a wide audience, yet focused enough to work in harmony with the contemporary style of the building.”
The architectural design of The Printworks has a flat roof and a striking cedar and steel panel façade. Though it is an unashamedly contemporary design in a traditional surround, it doesn’t stick out – you could easily walk past the site without noticing it is there. Clare feels that this is partly due to the cleverly selected blue-grey cladding that enables the hard lines of the structure to merge into the skyline.
“To deliver a contemporary interior in such a contemporary building would have been overbearing,” explained Clare. “So Mark agreed that Pascoe Interiors’ Mid Century Contemporary signature style would be the perfect look soften the contemporary edges of the design. However, I was reined in by being reminded that a fully eclectic Pascoe’s interior could be too bold for local buyers.”
With a budget of £20,000 and only a few weeks at the time to source, order and buy the furniture, Clare set about the project with gusto.
“To furnish six spaces for £20k net was a challenge, so my options were limited to companies who offer stylish furniture on a shoe string. I turned to Made.com and Habitat for the bulk of the furniture and added in beautifully crafted items from Ercol and unique pieces from Molten Vintage to add interest.
The furniture layouts that Clare and Mark decided on are designed specifically to show off the proportions of each room in a way that leaves room for the buyer’s imagination; as this was the show home, space had to left to suggest that other layouts were easily available.
The colour scheme of the show home centres around a muted palette, accented with colours, textures and materials to add layers of interest. Clare has also made use of feature walls to add more interest to the colour palette: “Mark agreed to wall paper in some rooms – a vital element to the success of the overall scheme, as wallpaper instantly adds depth and personality, which is crucial in a new build project.”
The warm and neutral palette, combined with the mid-century style typical of Clare’s designs, has allowed the show room to become believable as a real home, turning The Printworks into the perfect combination of contemporary and heritage. A modern build for a modern Chichester.
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