Clever design highlights smithy

Architectural designer Reece Warnock did not expect to be living in a campervan for 18 months when he took on a project to build a family home around a 19th-century Outram smithy.

Mr Warnock said the project proved more of a challenge than he or his wife expected, but after finishing late last year, he was very happy with the final result.

''We have designed it so that the kitchen opens up into the blacksmith, with a large set of bi-fold doors.

''And also when you come in the front entry, there's a big sort of gallery window that looks in on the blacksmith.''

The aim, when he started, was to build a family home around what, up until the 1980s, was a working smithy.

Born and bred in Outram, Mr Warnock played around the old smithy when he was a child, so demolishing it or letting it deteriorate was not an option.

''I just felt it was an important part of Outram's history, so I was quite keen to maintain it,'' he said.

This proved more difficult, and expensive, than he expected and he, his wife and two children spent 18 months living in caravans while the project was completed.

''We had two winters in caravans, which was a bit of a challenge.''

Being able to maintain a piece of history felt good.

''It feels fantastic, and me and my wife are pretty proud of what we managed to achieve.''

The result had also received a positive reaction from locals and relatives of people who worked in the smithy.

''They are very appreciative that we had managed to keep it, because they were worried that it was going to be pulled down and a bit of history lost.''


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