Beechwood House, listed Grade II, was built in 1880 as the private residence of George Fothergill, a tobacco manufacturer and former Mayor of Newport. The park, also listed, is believed to have been laid out by Thomas Mawson.
In 1900 the house and grounds were acquired by Newport City Council to become a public park. The house had been used for various purposes but for the last twenty years has been unused and suffered from vandalism and arson to the extent that parts had become unsafe.
Although in very poor condition, much detail of the house and stable range survived to allow a reconstruction that incorporates new services and fire precautions to serve its new use as start-up offices.
A key challenge was creating a new access lift and alternative stair without compromising the integrity of the historic fabric. In addition we have designed a new-build range of studios with a café for park users.
The finished result has proved to be great success for economic regeneration and as a much-loved centrepiece for the park.
In parallel we are also working for Newport City Council on the refurbishment of nearby Malpas Court, a building of similar age and dilapidated condition but very different style.