The railway station ticket office was transformed into ‘one of the most beautiful bathrooms ever made’ – George Clarke, Restoration Man – Channel 4
Fuelled by his love and desire for history combined with a ‘tinge of madness’ Lee Head transformed this abandoned railway station into a stunning family home full of heritage and historical life.
Part of the old Alnwick to Cornhill steam line, tucked away in a Northumberland valley just beneath the Scottish border, the railway opened in 1887 but was already closed to passengers by 1930. Lying abandoned for decades this stunning example of Victorian industrial architecture slowly fell into a state of near dilapidation, until Lee Head took up the challenge to rescue and restore this iconic building.
After several years of delicate and dedicated toil, the 100 foot long Grade II Listed station is now a fully functioning family home that lovingly embraces its industrial heritage. Each and every original element that could be saved has been incorporated into the rustic and luxurious interior.
Determined to work ‘with the building, not against it’ Lee let the architecture define the design. By listening to the narrative of the nostalgic details the plot unfurled, weaving history into the very fabric of the buildings future tale.
The platform spoke of a natural external walkway connecting the individual rooms of the house. Fully glazed, this sensitive stroke of design perfectly preserves the stations façade, elegantly embracing the original iron fretwork whilst creating a wonderful freedom of movement around the home. The waiting room formed the basis for a stunning laid back lounge area, complete with industrial style lighting and vintage lanterns hung from the beams, but it was the bathroom that Lee reserved for his most creative restoration ideas.
When it comes to the bathroom Lee Head certainly ‘saved the best till last’ – George Clarke
The ticket office, complete with the glorious original glazed bricks presents a stunning alternative to modern tiling, and creates an imaginative use of the original features for contemporary residential function. The ticket booths now house matching basins, beautifully framed in the buildings structure, but it is the decadent 2m freestanding Brass Bath that forms the magnificent centrepiece of this industrial styled bathroom.
‘Having discovered William Holland some years earlier I knew that the quality of their products were synonymous with the look I was striving to achieve and retained the desire to one day own what is not only a functional everyday household item but a thing of beauty, certainly a talking point. The handcrafted contemporary but historic design compliments perfectly the industrial setting. The oversized option from standard brings a whole new level of luxuriating and relaxation and I am delighted with the look, quality and presence of the bath’ – Lee Head
A truly inspiring renovation, full of creativity and ingenuity, the Victorian Railway Station is a wonderful example of functional transformation that beautifully embraces and preserves our architectural heritage.
For the full episode go to: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-restoration-man