The pottery factory in its existing stateDue to funding shortages, building works are expected to take place over a period of 10 years. Applications for entrants to the conservation school will open in 2017. In 1979, English Heritage earmarked 47 of the originally 4,000 bottle ovens to be protected with Grade II Listing status – three of these, formerly owned by manufacturer Acme Marls Ltd, will be the focus of the project. Rows of irregularly shaped bricks will create patterns around these three towers that architecture graduate Olivia Wright has designed to transform a derelict and vandalised pottery factory in northern England into a conservation centre. “I was enthralled by the idea of something being destructed and remade.”
Bands featuring different configurations of the bricks will wrap around the three towers, creating a range of textures that change towards the top of the tapering towers. “The six different bricks were made by distorting a square,” said Wright, who studied at the Architectural Association before completing her Masters at the RCA in 2014. Damaged bottle-shaped kilns and supporting factory buildings will be refurbished, and three new structures representing kilns that once stood on the site will be built using origami-like brickwork. Plan – click for larger imageThe project is currently on show in London as part of the Futures in the Making exhibition curated by the Architecture Foundation. Olivia Wright proposed the renovation for a ruined pottery site in the Burslem region of Stoke-on-Trent for her final project at the Royal Collage of Art. “The three structures made up of the slip cast bricks resembling the form of the bottle ovens that were destroyed on site symbolise the aim to regenerate the area whilst combining former and modern construction methods,” said the architect. The project is part of a larger vision to preserve the heritage of decaying British potteries. The local council, which was seeking to redevelop the site, selected Wright’s plans and hopes to start building work next year. “The council sees it as a good opportunity to use the old structures as heritage tourism,” said Wright.