The Bottle House

A wonderful grade 2 listed building in a prominent location which addresses Southside Street and the vibrant historic Barbican, this building has sat empty & without any functional purpose since its most famous inhabitant, the artist Robert Lenkiewicz, passed away. The building’s original function was as a bottling plant & storage facility for the adjacent Plymouth Gin factory.

The strong presence of the stone elevation facing Southside Street sits in stark contrast to its plain rear flank elevation which is home to one of Robert Lenkiewicz’s most famous murals which covers the whole rear elevation and for many years provided a vibrant backdrop to the Barbican streetscene. Weather has taken its toll on the mural over the years and now it is barely recognisable. Much of what’s left to be seen between the wooden battens installed in an effort to protect the work is faded & it’s peeling flakes of paint are irreparable.

Nevertheless the importance of the mural has been recognised by its independent listing. Bringing this building back to having some functional role is made more complicated by its restricted access and daylighting constraints.
We have been working closely with conservation specialists and in liaison with the Lenkiewicz foundation we have developed plans to bring the ground floor indoor market space back into an exciting open public retail space.
Lenkiewicz’s studio had once occupied the first floor and evidence of Robert’s work remains; from paint marks on the floor to some less than sensitively conceived internal alterations to the storing of the body of “Diogenese”, a local tramp Robert had once befriended.

The first floor is set to provide three spacious apartments, with two of them extending up into the roof space where Diogenese had once been stowed. The fate of the mural itself sadly remains unresolved and so it continues to disappear with each passing season but while this impasse continues, the building is at least finding a new lease of life and will once again be able to contribute to this thriving social hub of the city.

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Application Type

The planning application for this unique project will be submitted to the local authority for approval shortly.

Project Details

Location  
Plymouth

Designated Area  
Conservation Area

Project Type  
Renovation & Remodelling

Internal Floorspace  
Circa 530m²

Associates

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The Bottle House site. A sustainable listed building, remodelled by Hawkes Architecture.
The painted mural at The Bottle House. A sustainable listed building, remodelled by Hawkes Architecture.
Aerial render of The Bottle House. A sustainable listed building, remodelled by Hawkes Architecture.
Atic plan drawing of The Bottle House. A sustainable listed building, remodelled by Hawkes Architecture.
First floor plan drawing of The Bottle House. A sustainable listed building, remodelled by Hawkes Architecture.
Ground floor plan drawing of The Bottle House. A sustainable listed building, remodelled by Hawkes Architecture.