The Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE)

Normacot Rd, Stoke-on-Trent ST3, United Kingdom

Former Use: Pottery
New Use: Training facility, exhibition space, conference and meeting facilities
Category: Education, Industrial Museum, Other
Reuse Architect: Purcell
Construction year(s): 1870 -
Reuse year(s): 2002 - 2013


*"Meeting the UK's commitments to reducing carbon emissions is why Stoke-on-Trent City Council, along with Stoke College and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), have set up The Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE), as a national training facility for the techniques and materials needed to refurbish the UK housing stock to the highest modern standards in ways that conserve energy and water. .

The site chosen for CoRE was a Victorian pottery, with the bottle-shaped kilns that once gave the five Stoke-on-Trent pottery towns their distinctive identity, located in a Conservation Area and listed Grade II. Between 2002 and 2006, we had grant-aided basic repairs to the bottle ovens and the workshop structures which surrounded them and were keen to encourage a benign new long-term use. When the proposal for the CoRE project emerged in 2009, we supported the City Council, BRE and PRP Architects through the design, planning and consent process, as well as by attending regular meetings on site to help resolve the technical issues that cropped up during the building works. .

The historic buildings now provide 6,000m2 of flexible exhibition space where new products, components and materials can be demonstrated and training given on realistic 'house-sized' constructions. The complex also includes conference and meeting facilities that will be used to bring together key stakeholders in the retrofit community to share best practice and foster collaboration across the industry by means of a planned series of national and international events."*(1)

The complex was built in the mid-late 19th Century. Its exact construction year is unknown.

Relevant Literature:

  8. The images of the comple after its reuse were kindly provided by Mike Haw.

Added on 2018-08-06 by editor Dora Chatzi Rodopoulou