Prewetts Mill

A proposal for the Prewetts Mill Design Competition

Prewetts Mill is located at a significant location in Horsham, acting as a gateway between the residential area in the South and the commercial town centre. The original Prewetts Mill is a beautiful brick warehouse, which played an important role in Horsham’s history functioning as a corn mill. The 1980s large office extension to the historic mill consists of a series of rectilinear brick cantilevering volumes with continuous ribbon windows, creating a strong sense of horizontality.

The ‘soul’ of the extension that we seek to celebrate in our proposal is captured in the strip windows which bring masses of light and views inside. We would like to preserve and enhance this unique quality of the existing architecture for the future residents to enjoy. At the same time, we seek to dismantle the building’s excessive formal horizontality, responsible for its commercial, corporate and heavy appearance.

The distinctive proposed facade design for the extension is intended to contrast and complement the old Mill through the juxtaposition. The facade proposal is achieved through the superimposition of a new circular geometry onto the existing horizontal facade. This overlay visually dissolves the relentless horizontality of the facade and introduces a fresh identity.

The circular motif is inspired by mill stones, recalling the history of milling. The distinctive colour of the terracotta red facade refers to the predominant red brick and terracotta curved tiles of Horsham’s vernacular architecture, rmly tying the proposal to local history. Each circle is placed to frame a window bay, and hence celebrate the light and views offered by the existing strip window.The circular pattern is constructed with reflective glazed tiles applied to the surface of the existing brick façade, bringing a sense of depth and movement, reflecting skies and trees. There is also a reference to waves of water of the adjacent the river.