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Astley Castle Restoration Bags The 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize

How would you like to move into a holiday home that was once a glorious fortified castle for three generations of Royals? The Astley Castle in Nuneaton, North Warwickshire was restored into a unique holiday home by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. The fabulous restoration project has won the prestigious 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize and presents an interesting take on how old structures and ruins could be restored without making the modern additions too invasive and gaudy. It was the idea of The Landmark Trust to turn this once majestic structure into a novel holiday home.

Winner of 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize

Restoration and renovation are precarious tasks that most often are all about finding that elusive balance between the traditional and the modern. The task becomes all the more sensitive when it concerns a 12th century castle that has a long history and tradition attached with it. Astley Castle was turned into a hotel after World War II. It was accidentally destroyed by a fire in 1978. Ruins of the castle were largely unattended to until recently, when Witherford Watson Mann Architects undertook the major restorations.

Entranceway to Astley castle holiday home

Original castle design kept intact

Modern holiday home inside the Astley Castle

Furniture that blends in with castle walls

Modern kitchen and dining space

Beautfiful wooden kitchen island

Much of the castle and its original look are kept intact with the contemporary additions to it being made in beautiful brick and unpolished wood that matches the masonry of the existing structure. A modern kitchen, dining area and living space were placed on the upper level, while the bedrooms and the bathrooms are housed on the lower floor. Much of the exclusive charm of the Astley Castle lies in its ‘look of ruins’ as it takes you back in time and allows you to appreciate the heritage of the site.

Contemporary stairs in muted wooden tones

Staircase design in Astley castle

Bedrooms that preserve the original castle charm

Bathroom at the castle holiday home

Exterior with the new restoration

Astley Castle in Warwickshire

While some might disagree with a celebration of the ruins, others find it both impressive and apt. At the end of the day, the new holiday home inside offers its visitors a luxurious experience that is both exceptional and inimitable. With simple décor in neutral shades and unassuming additions, the restoration is a perfect example of projects that preserve the existing look and feel of a structure; irrespective of what it is!

Sherry Nothingam
Sherry is a blogger who loves to live her life to the fullest. She enjoys everything associated with design, décor and stylish modern trends. Born in California, Sherry has grown up on open ranches and in a wild setting, which has defined her taste for design and developed her interest in examining how structures and homes interact with the beauti[...]

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