Chatsworth Learning Centre

Peak Architects, Bakewell, 2018


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Matthew Bush     Download Original

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The former Potting Shed was constructed in 1868 and is located within the grounds of the Grade I listed Chatsworth House Estate.

Peak Architects have respectfully refurbished this neglected building into a ‘Learning Centre’ for the Devonshire Education Trust. The works included a full soft strip; introduction of new lime screed floors and wall linings as well as a full interior fitout.

The client’s brief was to create a flexible space for the delivery of education and community use. The design responds with a large activity room providing a bright and open educational space accommodating groups of all ages. The smaller adjacent space can serve the main room or be self-contained, accommodating smaller group activities. A concealed kitchenette allows for temporary catering for events and functions.

The existing toilet block has been renovated to provide public toilets to the Gardens during peak season; they offer the first accessible WCs within the Estate’s garden walls.

Peak Architects’ design responds to the challenging constraints of a Grade 1 listing, revealing and exposing original features to provide a rich material palette that contrasts with understated interventions. Where possible materials were sourced from the Chatsworth estate and recycled materials specified.

The building requires no additional energy as Peak Architects proposed an innovative solution to recycle heat and energy produced within the Chatsworth Estate and from the greenhouse pumps housed in the basement, recycled using a MVHR unit to provide additional heating and ventilation throughout the centre.


  • Begun: Jan 2018
  • Completed: May 2018
  • Floor area: 139m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £192,314
  • Funding: Devonshire Education Trust
  • Tender date: Sep 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Chatsworth Learning Centre, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, Bakewell, DE45, United Kingdom

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