HPA’s design for a new café and visitor centre

The new cafeteria at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire, presented an interesting set of challenges for HPA Chartered Architects, as our team were tasked with blending traditional and modern elements into their designs. The client wanted to increase capacity for the cafeteria and add a function room for events such as weddings and conferences. These new facilities had to meet the latest energy efficiency standards, as well as increasing accessibility for all visitors, while at the same time sitting within the Edwardian street scene that had been so carefully created as part of the popular attraction, whilst keeping its heritage and conservation.

The project was further complicated by the existing building, a small timber structure that was no longer fit for purpose. This stands on a raised area above the street level, making any access difficult, especially for less able visitors.

This was a challenge, but one our talented team of architects could rise to.

A solution with many benefits

HPA Chartered Architect’s design for the new café and visitor centre includes removing the old building and lowering the vacant ground to street level before construction commences. The rear wall of the new structure will then serve as a retaining wall for the higher ground at the rear of the building, keeping its heritage and conservation style.

This layout allows level entry from both front and rear, without the need for ramps. Access to the first floor of the new structure will be provided via a new lift and staircase. As an additional benefit, this lift will be shared by the adjacent re-built Edwardian pub, The Red Lion, which was transported brick by brick from its original location in Stoke on Trent.

Images will be updated as the project progresses.

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