Built in 1909 and designed by York architect, Walter Henry Brierley, the combined stables and motor house in the grounds of Howarth Art Galley offer a unique illustration of the changing motor trade in the 20th century. The building also contains the only surviving Petrol Store in the UK.
However, over time, the growing popularity of motorised transport replaced the need for a building of this type, so since the 1950s the Grade II listed building was left vacant and semi-derelict.
In the building’s west wing, which historically housed the motor house, temporary, half-height partitions were introduced to divide the space into further units to provide even more studio space.
A potting shed, that neighboured the stables and motor house was also restored to create a workshop space for the community and for artists to use for messy or dusty work. Referencing the glass house that was originally in its place, a small glazed extension was added to the potting shed, creating further space for artists and community events.
The completed project not only retains the charm and character of this rare building type, but also brings it back into useful operation, creating a creative hub to the benefit of the local community.
Buttress was appointed by Hyndburn Borough Council to lead the refurbishment and adaptation of the stables and motor house to transform it into artists studio and event space, allowing the buildings to be used by the public for the first time.
Externally, the building’s arched entrance was restored, the façade was repointed and sympathetic glazing was inserted into the existing frame. New roof lights were also introduced to bring natural light into the space, a requirement crucial for its intended use.
Internally, the east wing of the building, which housed the stables, still retained a significant amount of its original fabric including cast iron stable portions, hay baskets, ceramic tiles and original brick flooring. All original features were restored and this area became studio space, with each stable booth forming an individual unit for artists to work.