Middleport Pottery

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Stoke-on-Trent, 2014


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Completed Site 

Tim Crocker (website)     Download Original

  • Completed Site    
  • Completed Site - historic moulds    
  • Completed site    
  • Historic Site Photo    
  • Completed site    
  • Completed site    
  • Completed Site    
  • Completed Site - shop    
  • Completed site    
  • Kiln    
  • Completed site - cafe    
  • Site character    
  • Inside a kiln    
  • New design layer    
  • New Design Layer    
  • 2.1 Site Character.jpg    
  • Site character - historic signage    
  • Ground Floor Before    
  • Ground Floor After    
  • First Floor Before    
  • First Floor After    
  • Second Floor Before    
  • Second Floor After    
  • Hand Craft    
  • The vision    
  • The vision    
  • Site character    

The regeneration of Middleport Pottery, the home of Burleigh Ware ceramics, one of the last working Victorian Potteries in the UK.

The dilapidated Grade II* factory buildings in Burslem were saved by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The site was purchased by The Prince’s Regeneration Trust in 2010 and working alongside FCBStudios a brief was developed to repair the factory, save the jeopardised jobs of existing employees, create additional jobs and kick start the regeneration of the surrounding town.

Concept - The brief called for the renovation of the at-risk building fabric, reclaiming abandoned and uninhabitable spaces to house new businesses and visitor facilities and create a more diverse mixed-use ‘hub’ of ceramics enterprises within the Victorian factory ranges.

Improving visitor access and education facilities were fundamental to the regeneration objectives of the project, allowing the people of Burslem to reconnect with their industrial heritage, and rekindling the pride of a community built on generations of world-leading design and craft.

Context - The Grade II* listed factory was built in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. It was designed to an innovative new model, arranged to maximise the efficiencies of production from the arrival of the clay through to the packaging and export of the finished product. Sited on the banks of the Trent & Mersey canal, the factory was directly linked with Liverpool docks, and the international demands for British products at the height of the country’s industrial eminence.

Design Approach - The building’s time-worn industrial character was very fragile and in danger of being lost to over-sanitised heritage commodification. Even though the buildings were at risk of collapse, their conservation could jeopardise everything about the site that the team hoped to save. The ‘light touch’ philosophy sought only to intervene where essential. The ‘new layer’ of contemporary design was founded on extensive analysis of the existing condition and a thorough understanding of the site’s history, quantifying those characteristics that gave the site its sense of place.

Sustainability - The refurbishment has made a number of major sustainability improvements. The conservation brief required extensive refurbishment of leaking roofs and windows, and improving the energy efficiency of the building envelope through upgraded insulation, enhanced airtightness performance and the installation of new highly efficient servicing, including lifts. External lighting has been designed to a low lux level to minimise light pollution whilst maintaining a flight path for bats. The scheme is undergoing final BREEAM certification with a target rating of ‘Very Good’.


  • Completed: Apr 2014
  • Floor area: 7,728m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £5.5M
  • Tender date: 2012
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: Middleport Pottery, Port Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 3PE, United Kingdom

Professional Team