Example sketches showing façade retention

Maintaining Wolverton Works’ Character

What was considered?

As part of the design review, an extensive study was carried out to assess how the masterplan (and its component parts) could better reflect the character of the existing railway sheds and other features relating to the site’s railway heritage.

The study covered the western part of the site which is proposed for new homes.

For many reasons, it is not possible to retain every building if St. Modwen is to bring forward a development which 1) meets modern day home standards 2) delivers an affordable product which will sell and 3) is financially viable for the company to build.

Therefore it was important to consider what makes the site special and what gives Wolverton Works its heritage character.

What makes Wolverton Works special?

Purcell architects assessed what key elements of the site (special character areas) most effectively reflect the character and heritage of Wolverton Works as a whole. These were considered to be:

  • East-west railway tracks
  • Carriage traverser tracks
  • Working yards
  • South boundary wall


Consideration of special character areas and which façades could be retained

Example sketch showing façade retention

Proposed building façade retention

Purcell considered which buildings/ façades, if kept, would best frame these special character areas and allow future visitors to understand how these spaces were used historically.

With this objective, alongside the need to deliver the appropriate scale and layout of new homes for today’s needs, the proposal is to retain parts of the following façades:

  • Carriage Lifting Shop
  • Timber Store
  • West Paint Shed

These façades each have a relationship with the special character areas in terms of explaining visually how these areas operated historically. Alongside the revised masterplan, the retention of certain façades will present an effective long-term representation of the site’s history.

Façades for retention - click to enlarge

Façades for retention - click to enlarge