Fire Damage, 44-46 Wheelgate, Malton, North Yorkshire

Client: Fitzwilliam Malton Estates

On October 21st 2002 a small shop in a North Yorkshire market town suffered a catastrophic fire (possibly caused by a firework). After 5 years it was decided finally to rebuild, but since the shop is in a conservation area, it had to be rebuilt in the original Victorian style.

Unfortunately the original front elevation was no longer robust enough to support the building, and so approval was obtained from the local authority to take this down and replace it with a new one of similar design. It was also part of a row of closely packed 2 and 3 storey buildings; the effect on the neighbouring buildings of removing the remaining structure had to be considered from the earliest stage of the design. This grant of permission, helped a great deal since replacing the whole front elevation vastly reduced the health and safety issues involved.

Whilst Francis Johnson Architects in Bridlington designed the spaces, functions and appearance, Maltech undertook the challenging task of designing a structure which was buildable in such a congested and hard to access site.The solution was to build a steel frame, behind a Victorian Cloaking of brick, wood and stucco, which keeps the neighbouring shops from collapsing into the new unit. The foundations are based on a poured concrete slab which allows foundations to be kept to a minimum depth.