Planning permission for this unique building was granted because the foundations of an old gasholder were reused, leaving the landscape undisturbed. The small scale of cutlery production could be accommodated in the circular form. 

An external wall of local stone, traditionally detailed but with pre-cast concrete quoins and pad-stones, forms a drum supporting a shallow pitched radial roof structure of light weight steel trusses supporting in turn a central lantern. Each truss is propped off the concrete pad-stones leaving a glazed slot around the building, so that the roof cone appears to float freely above the drum. The whole assembly is structurally rigid so it exerts no lateral force on the supporting wall. The roof covering is of traditionally detailed lead on a stepped deck of prefabricated, insulated plywood boxes, each tapered to fit the radial pattern.

Inside the column-free interior there are two enclosures for wc's and noisy plant, otherwise the space is open and loosely organised. The site was subsequently developed as a campus and now includes a shop, design museum and café which we also designed as well as offices and residential accommodation.


  • Location Hathersage, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
  • Size 155 m²
  • Client David Mellor Design Ltd
  • Year 1989

Project team

Selected Awards

  • Civic Trust Award
  • BBC Design Award
  • RIBA National Award
  • Financial Times: Architecture Award
  • RIBA Regional Award