Garnett Netherwood Architects were appointed to refurbish the Grade II listed Piano building in the centre of Kidderminster. The Piano building, built in 1867, had been a textile mill producing carpet for Brintons before falling into general disrepair and spending the next ten years empty.
The design evolved to include a new extension to the Piano building which extends west along the canal creating a new public space to the north. The enclosure of this open space connects the Piano building to its neighbouring buildings which have also been recently refurbished.
The Piano building is intended to have a restaurant use at ground floor with three storeys of residential units above. The new extension provides two storeys of retail.
The refurbishment of the Piano building involved a new roof, the cleaning and repointing of the brickwork using lime mortars to match the original, and the upgrading of the internal cast iron columns which were in poor condition and not capable of taking the proposed residential and retail floor loadings. During the early stages of the refurbishment works, a wharf was discovered under the ground floor which posed a unique set of problems to be solved. The completed project includes a glass panel in the floor through which can be seen the outline of the old wharf.
The new extension has European oak cladding with structural silicone glazing to the retail units on the ground floor.