Cambo Stables

The need for buildings to meet new uses and regulations requires all sorts of interventions which can smother out the reason for keeping an existing building in the first place.

A good example is our work on the Cambo Estate stable block where we were appointed in 2011 to create a base for visitors to the estate. In broad terms it now serves that busy visitor audience with learning workshops, office accommodation, café, shop and exhibition space. Critical to our approach was consolidating the existing fabric in the lightest touch manner – leaving it with a feeling as if it is ‘as found’. Our philosophy was intervention only where required, and where necessary expressed as new. A limited palette of materials was used for new elements, with these materials rooted and derived from the existing. The building is in effect the first exhibit on display, the stories of its previous occupants etched into the fabric and revealed on the visitor journey through the building.

Cambo Stables is a particularly fine building. Externally there are rusticated quoins, some old lime harling, and inside twelve stalls integrated into a distinguished timber and cast-iron colonnade, loose boxes and tack room, with many original fittings intact. An enclosed yard to the rear backs onto the walled garden. It was that earthy magical quality enhanced by the delightful coastal light that we sought to preserve.

  • Principal facade

  • Main courtyard at dusk

  • Dusk view from entrance courtyard into Cafe

  • Approach from car park

  • Approach to main entrance

  • Arched doors leading to the cafe

  • North Range courtyard

  • New external stair

  • Entrance intrepretation area

  • Conserved horse stalls

  • Entrance to the stalls

  • Exhibits within the existing horse stalls

  • Historic fabric and fittings retained

  • Cafe

  • View from the cafe to the kitchen

  • Materiality/Texture/Markings