Stone innovation in the U.K.
January 1, 2007
When architects Hanson Walford Marston sought to integrate modern with traditional materials for Lakeland Limited’s new flagship store and head office in its native Cumbria, England, they called on the services of local natural stone producer, Burlington, to satisfy the latter half of the equation. Walling stone played a critical role in delivering an architectural scheme that “reflects the creative and forward thinking pedigree of Lakeland Limited,” on what is the site of their original creative kitchenware store in the heart of the popular Lake District town of Windermere.
Burlington’s Kirkby blue/grey weathered and random walling stone was used to create a curved feature wall to the south side of the head office part of the development, complete with picture window openings - appropriately named the “Lazy S” by Hanson Walford Marston. It is also featured in several other locations across the development. The front of the store is a curved glass facade that abuts an external wall created out of the same Burlington material, creating a “new shopping experience” for visiting customers.
For added visual appeal and to further emphasize the texture of the stone, a wall mirroring the exterior continues inside the store itself. Internally, Burlington’s walling stone has been used within the cafe and counter area, and to create another feature wall at the back of the store, which is now twice the size of the one originally located on the site.
As well as serving to enhance the look and feel of the new store, the architects have also deployed Burlington’s walling stone in a purely functional manner, using it as solid masonry to create the likes of the gate house, and the transformer and generator housings. Each wall constructed by stonemason T A Law of Ravenstonedale near Kirkby Stephen, on behalf of main contractors, Border Construction, features quoin end stops in Burlington’s random walling stone to deliver greater definition to the end result.
Commenting on the specification of the Burlington stone partner Don Hanson said, “The structural mass of the Burlington stone walls not only play such a major role in the traditional part of the design equation, [but they also] work exceptionally well with the palette of modern materials that we have specified for the Lakeland Limited development.”
In addition to accommodating the new 13,700-square-foot store, the development includes a 70-seat first floor cafe and houses the head office’s customer service operation (mail order department) of Lakeland Limited - a leading supplier of creative kitchenware, solutions for the home and various crafts.