Velvet Mill

Structural Designer

Price & Myers

Client Name

Urban Splash


Bradford, UK

Urban Splash Construct

David Morley Architects

Commercial Systems International - Joinery company Images: © Joel Chester Fildes and Urban Splash


A 100m row of two storey penthouses was added to the roof of this 1873 fabric mill redevelopment. The pods curved and looping form evokes the yarns once woven in the mill below and was digitally fabricated in plywood and steel. 

Judge's comment:

Perched on the roof of the Victorian mill, the apparent playfulness of the forms, inspired by a plaid of woven silk (in a nod to the building’s former use) belies the clever detailing and economy of construction. 

A tight budget and logistics of construction at height lead to this lightweight two-storey pod structure. 

The team developed repeated, organic forms that span six metres across the units, digitally fabricated with modular plywood cassettes for assembly on site between lightweight steel framing that supports the intermediate floor.

The size of cassettes was determined with thought to transportation and minimising waste of materials.

The project showcases modern timber design to fabrication technology: the use of CNC cut ribs negating the need for formwork.   

This joyful project shows just what can be done to achieve a great value, sustainable addition to a treasured heritage building. 

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