Project Update: The Library & Pavilion at The Cocoa Works are taking shape in York!

15th February 2024

Following our successful collaboration with Henry Boot Construction Limited on 'The Cocoa Works' repurposing and refurbishing the former Rowntree/Nestle factory into 279 apartments for Latimer by Clarion Housing Group, Weedon Architects were invited by the same Client to design and deliver the scheme's community facilities.

With a delicate intervention, inspired by the simple elegance of Victorian steel-frame glasshouses, currently being constructed alongside the careful and considered refurbishment of the existing fabric, our proposal breathes new life into the existing Grade II Listed Joseph Rowntree Library (1927). Designed to provide community spaces for residents of The Cocoa Works and the wider public, our hope is that this heritage asset will once again become a vibrant hub for the local community.

Our design for the adjacent Pavilion, positioned in the centre of the development's public landscaped gardens, presents as a paired back contemporary foil to the more traditional surroundings. Constructed with prefabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, Glulam frame, and a sedum roof with large overhangs over future outdoor seating areas, The Pavilion will ultimately offer retail and caf├ę facilities for the community and residents.

Despite the challenges of inclement weather and working with historic building fabric, the Design Team (including Henry Boot Construction Limited, Dudleys Consulting Engineers, Briggs & Forrester Living, Tegerdine Associates Ltd, and other partners) is on track to deliver a scheme of exceptional quality and historic value.

Throughout the project, we've engaged with the local community to capture their fond memories of the existing Library and the surrounding areas of the former chocolate factory. Working closely with the City of York Council, York Conservation Trust Limited, York Civic Trust, the The Rowntree Society and local specialists, we're really proud to play our part in this transformative project at Cocoa Works, celebrating York's heritage and creating modern, vibrant spaces for the community to enjoy.

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