Watchhill, Canonbie – Residential

Watchhill, Canonbie – Residential

Watchhill, Canonbie – Residential

Design, Planning Approval and Building Warrant for New Detached House

Initial Survey 2018; Ongoing on Site 2023

Our client, a self-builder, purchased a plot with outline approval and appointed Aditus to design a bespoke family home.  Design work commenced in 2018 and planning approval and a building warrant were obtained in 2019.  Our clients have been working on the construction as commitments allow since 2020.

Canonbie site (original site)

The house follows both the traditional Scottish long house and  one-and-a-half storey approach, and maximises the internal space created on a site where there were restrictions on overall height and footprint, following the earlier grant of planning in principle to the original site vendors.

Proposed Elevations

Aditus successfully negotiated with the planners a change from the bungalow originally envisaged by the approval in principle, into this large family house whilst maintaining a traditional flavour to the design to ensure it sat comfortably withing the surrounding village context.

Canonbie – Site progress

Penton – Residential and Commercial

Penton – Residential and Commercial

Penton – Residential and Commercial

Alterations & Extension to an Existing Barn Conversion; Addition of Agricultural Buildings

Original Survey – Late Summer 2017 – Works Ongoing.

Our clients own a former farm near Penton, north Cumbria, and have diversified the business and provide holiday accommodation for private guests and fields for agricultural tenants.
Our clients live in one of a series of barn conversions on the farm and wished to improve upon the living accommodation that was the result of several previous architects’ schemes. On the first floor, there was significant wasted space and also wasted opportunities for exploiting some great views out over open countryside and our brief was to review the layout, add bathroom facilities and devise a way of giving the main bedroom access to the views and an external terrace.

Original rear elevation

Our design achieved this by adding in a new, glazed gable to the side elevation that led directly out onto a partly covered terrace with the option of a short flight of steps down to the existing raised garden. A generous-sized shower room was added to the first floor and the storage and circulation rationalised. In addition, a new enclosed porch was added to the main entrance and the circulation tweaked to provide improved pedestrian access with further scope for wheelchair access at a later date.

Nearing completion

A second project applied for in parallel on the property was to obtain planning approval for a decent agricultural building for storage and maintenance of machinery used in association with the management of the client’s land. This was also designed in a way that allows future conversion to cottage industry uses should the client wish to diversify further and was tucked away in the landscape so as to be unobtrusive to both neighbours and guests staying in the holiday accommodation.

Penrith – Residential Property

Penrith – Residential Property

Penrith – Residential

Remodeling and Extension of a Bungalow

Initial Survey – Spring 2018; Completion – Spring 2020.

Our client wished to remodel their existing two-bedroomed detached house to add a further bedroom and create a new, lighter, airier kitchen/ dining area, with vaulted ceilings and a glazed screen giving view towards the Lake District fells.  In addition, the existing front door was tucked away on a side elevation and the client was keen to make it more prominent and create a porch.

Before images

The scheme required the demolition of an existing attached garage, re-working of the external spaces and parking to give room for the extension that contained the kitchen/ diner, a larger entrance hall, external storage and a utility room.  The existing kitchen was re-purposed as a new bedroom with the addition of an en-suite shower room and a large opening was created between the existing living room and new kitchen/diner to create a large, well-lit open plan living area.

The unique topography of the property allowed for the creation of a spacious terrace accessed by sliding/folding screens from the kitchen that gave tremendous views and allowed indoor/outdoor living. 

After images

The Station Inn

The Station Inn

The Station Inn, Kirkpatrick Fleming

Partial Demolition, Remodeling & Extension for The Cove Estate

Initial Survey – February 2018; Completion – Spring 2019

Our client wished to substantially remodel the Station Inn in Kirkpatrick Fleming, to provide a refreshed and modern pub and restaurant to serve the local community and holiday park.  Our client runs several businesses in the local area, including the Bruce’s Cave Holiday Park, and is committed to supporting local facilities and the local community.  He frequently locates and rescues older, endangered buildings across southern Scotland and northern England to redevelop and bring back into beneficial use; he took on the closed Station Inn for refurbishment. 

Before images

The building consisted of the existing pub and restaurant occupying several rooms of the ground floor of an original coaching inn, a first floor flat accessed by an external fire escape stair, a small kitchen extension attached to the rear and a separate stores building to the rear, linked together by a steel-framed garage block.  The facilities were undersized and very outdated for the modern standards of food preparation, dining, and socialising.  Our brief was to produce design options to increase the size of the dining area, kitchens, stores, toilet facilities and improve the quality of and access to the first floor flat. 

After images

Several schemes were considered, including the addition of a further flat to first floor.  The final scheme comprised a large, open-plan restaurant bar, large kitchen/prep area and linked stores, cellar, expanded toilet facilities, all made accessible for disabled users, a remodeled first floor flat with internal stair access created from the former toilet block, expanded beer garden and revised car park.

Aditus designed the scheme and made the subsequent, successful planning and building warrant applications.

The client separately commissioned a superb sculpture of a ‘Stephenson’s Rocket’ steam engine which took pride of place outside. 

The Station Inn, Kirkpatrick, Fleming (The Rocket)
Laidlaw Auction Rooms, Carlilse

Laidlaw Auction Rooms, Carlilse

The Temple Auction Rooms – St Nicholas St, Carlisle for Laidlaw Auctioneers and Valuers


Aditus Architectural Services Ltd where commissioned by Paul Laidlaw of Laidlaw Auctioneers and Valuers to undertake the design work for conversion of a former Salvation Army Temple in Carlisle to a bespoke auction house.

The clients was very specific about the feel he hoped to obtain through the design work and we were fully onboard with their vision.  It was important that the feel of the existing premises was not lost in the conversion works and that the stunning features, including high windows and vaulted ceilings were retained and highlighted.  Part of the works would require new access arrangements and parking facilities and the movement of people and goods was especially important.

The brief included creating a working library and office area that would be securely accessed, but be visible from the auction room and have easy access from there.  The client was keen that these spaces should be a light and transparent feature of the main hall, which was to be the showcase for the auctions and the business.  Supporting spaces, including storage, processing and catering were to be distributed to the smaller hall and rooms.

We presented a design vision which incorporated the addition of a mezzanine platform in the main auction hall with offices below.  This enabled us to site the library area within the timber clad vaulted ceiling and gave it an uninterrupted view of the hall below.  To achieve this we utilised a clear glass balustrade all across the mezzanine and a bespoke metal staircase in a glazed stairwell leading up to it from the offices below.  On the mezzanine we also reinstated a stunning arched window that had been removed and built up in the past, which allowed light to flood in to the library and auction hall beyond and create a focal point in the room.

Downstairs we incorporated full height internal glazed screens between the office and the auction hall, giving a strong sense of connection, whilst maintaining the security and privacy that was required.  The existing entrance from the street, located between the two halls, was set back, low key and not commensurate with the nature of the business and clientele, so a new entrance from the street was formed into the office and reception area with a prominent glazed door and glazed screen incorporating strong branding, adding to the transparency and emphasising the quality of the building.

These design elements were first explored with computer-generated imagery and presented to the client for approval and confirmation they were in tune with his vision for the space.  This enabled us to identify any practical or engineering challenges to successfully translate the client’s wishes into a buildable concept.

Interventions were kept to a minimum where they affected the original building fabric as there was a desire to display the original form and features as much as possible, but some practical amendments were needed:

We formed a new external double door through an existing window opening to connect the main hall to the car park for loading/unloading.  We also replaced a number of damaged internal windows and doors and refurbished the stunning parquet flooring in both halls.  An existing bespoke rostrum was brought from Laidlaw’s previous premises and installed in the main hall with projection wall behind.

More modern partitions were removed and other rooms were opened up to create areas for storage and processing, and all rooms were refurbished and decorated.  The toilets were refurbished and separated from an existing open plan room to resolve poor circulation and access problems and create additional storage.

The clients were extremely happy with the end result and the overall design solution has exceeded all expectations.  We are proud to have worked with Laidlaw’s to create a space that is both reflective of the buildings past and fully functional as a successful and modern auction environment.