SHORTLISTED AJ Architecture Awards 2018 Workplace of the Year (up to 20,000m2)

Carriage Works, Units 3 & 5

Swindon

This project is the first phase of a series of regeneration projects looking to revitalise the historic former Great Western Railway Carriage Works. The first phase involved the conversion of two sheds (Units 3 & 5) into a new managed workspace for creative small businesses and start-ups.

The refurbishment of Units 3 & 5 was completed in 2018. At the Lower Ground Floor an existing entrance has been connected to the main level above with a new wrought steel stair and lift, threaded through a new floor opening. At the Upper Ground Floor the main intervention is the construction of a free-standing, lightweight Mezzanine structure to create two levels of new offices, meeting rooms and open-plan workspace. This greatly increases the space available; making the most of the height of the former sheds whilst remaining clear of the historic open spaces.

The new Mezzanine is an open steel framed structure with glazed partitions and ply panelling to line the new offices and meeting room interiors. At the Mezzanine level above, perforated ply balustrade panels are bolted together to follow the industrial aesthetic of the space, defining a new open-plan workspace. The Mezzanine level is accessed via new staircases which continue the ply balustrade panelling with open mesh infills.

Team: P3R (M&E) / Alan Baxters (Structures) / BWA (Quantity Surveyor)

Status: Completed

"It’s such a different space to anything else in Swindon. We’re big fans of the architecture and the fact that they’ve preserved the heritage."

Nick Prescott, MD, Bravedog

The Carriage Works is Grade II listed and located in the heart of the Railway Village Conservation Area. These industrial sheds were built at the end of the nineteenth century by the Great Western Railway and used to construct new train carriages but since become neglected and the majority left vacant.

By sensitively upgrading the existing building’s fabric and services, this project has ensured the continued use of these historic buildings.

Photographs by Jack Hobhouse