The task of making an intervention within an historic building always needs to be treated sensitively, and with great respect to the existing structure. In this case the intervention was a new WC within the Grade 2-listed St Oswald’s Church in Warton, near Carnforth. Previously, the nearest WC facilities were in the Church Hall which is a short walk away.

The WC was constructed within a timber ‘pod’ which was carefully constructed within the South Porch (an addition to the 15th century South Nave). Harrison Pitt Architects therefore adopted the key design and conservation approach of making the new intervention different to the existing building.

The new room was clad in oak as a direct, yet sympathetic, contrast to the stone walls of the existing building. The shape of the ‘pod’ was gently curved, to maximise space (both within the WC and outside), and also to allow the geometry to contrast against the existing structure.

The scheme won a commendation in the 2012 Lancaster Design Awards.

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