Cocoa Works, York

Clarion Housing Group

Project Value:





Key Points

279 mixed dwellings

Former Rowntree’s Factory

191 Secure Parking Spaces

246 Secure Cycle Storage Spaces

Amenity Facilities on-site

Historic Site

Historically the site has been linked to the manufacture of confectionery and cocoa since the 1890s with the site frequently expanding and developing until the present day. The factory opened in 1892, but the Almond buildings were only constructed in 1910, while the cream block was built in 1936 and further extended to the north in 1938 in an art deco style. The buildings were designed by Rowntree’s factory architects, W.H. Brown and W.J. Swain. and built by the Rowntree’s building department using an innovative form of reinforced concrete to create the structure. The site is partially located within the Nestle / Rowntree conservation boundary and is of historic importance to the area. The buildings have sat empty since 2008 when they were no longer suitable for modern production.

The historic nature of the project calls for a sensitive restoration and well measured approach to provide high quality residential apartments and a flexible community hall for the local area.

Community Space

The proposals encompass the Rowntree Cocoa Works building and the Grade II listed Joseph Rowntree Memorial Library, located on Haxby Road in York. The development will provide 279 private dwellings ranging from studios, 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments, including a single storey roof extension and three new cores in the Cocoa works factory.

Whilst the 6th floor roof extension is a contemporary addition; the layout is carefully considered and responds to the existing structure of the building below, resulting in a well measured contemporary response to the historic building. The use of light bronze aluminium panels to the 6th floor and new openings to the west elevation further enriches the building without been pastiche.

Additionally, the development will provide a flexible community space inside listed library building alongside a new extension which will a house temporary show flat. The scheme will also provide 246 secure cycle storage space, 191 vehicular parking spaces and a provision for electrical car charging points for building residents.

Harmonious Layouts

Within the confines of the existing building both the internal and external layouts are designed in harmony with the existing condition. Internally the layouts are determined by a number of factors, principally the existing structure, and the existing external window sets. Externally the site layout is primarily shaped by the vehicular and pedestrians routes in and out of the site and the location of existing access points from Haxby Road and the creation of a new vehicular junction to the north of the library building and alterations to the highway layout