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Creating A Sustainable And Luxury Design In Cambridge

Project Summary

We’re proud and honoured to play a part in rebuilding this beloved Cambridge High Street Optometrist Store after a devastating fire in 2019. 
Cambridge Independent Press Coverage
Cambridge Independent 1
Our team stepped in before building regulation phase, spotting immediately there was no fire safety strategy in place, leading to a complete redesign of the project.
We managed to complete the work in record time despite a very tight deadline, thanks to in-depth architectural plans and a Sustainable And Luxury Design with a space-saving solution.
  • Location: Mill Road, Cambridge
  • Sector: Commercial Conversion
  • Construction Costs: £500,000
  • Size: 202 sqft
  • Status: Complete
  • Architect: Windsorpatania Architects

The history

This locally loved optometrist store, part of Mill Road Conservation Area, comprises the optometrist shop on the ground, first and the second floor of the building and a separate flat to the rear of the first floor.
The building has been a part of the client’s family history for 100 years and was unfortunately damaged in a devastating fire in 2019. 
A lack of fire safety strategy also meant that the property was vulnerable. 
Each room of the flat – including bedroom, kitchen and living room, plus the two-storey optometrists – needed clear fire escapes. At the same time, the client was very keen to keep as much open space as possible.

Sustainable And Luxury Design

Our team led by Architect Director Giovanni Patania and Senior Architect Roberta Sanna worked around the clock to finish the project with Sustainable And Luxury Design in record time.

With all approvals and designs submitted just four months after being commissioned onto the project.

Tendering with local building firms began in the Summer of 2019, with building work commencing at the end of September 2019. The renovation was finally unveiled in February 2020.

We created a brand-new concept, which included the removal of a metal staircase outside and incorporated a hallway and ramp (fit for escape purposes).

Sustainable And Luxury Design

The front-facing exterior has been restored to retain as much of its original period features as possible, keeping with the neighbouring buildings along Mill Road.

At the back of the building, the team was able to be more creative, retaining the building’s original features while adding a modern element to the design.
Our Development Director Ryan Windsor added, “After fighting to the centimetre to get the construction acceptable by building and fire regulation standards, and meeting all of the client’s needs, we are delighted to see the final result.”

Press Coverage

About this  Sustainable And Luxury Design, Founder and designer Stefano Minelli said:

“Working with local architects, WindsorPatania, it quickly became clear that we’d be facing a decision: do only what we had to do or stretch ourselves to make sustainable choices that benefit our clients, community, and the next generation.

The fire had, in a way, presented us with an opportunity, so we grabbed it with both hands. After removing the gas, we swapped our existing insulation for an eco-friendly variety, installed energy-efficient windows, and added lots of natural ventilation.”

Press Coverage

“WindsorPatania architects help resurrect luxury optometrists following a devastating fire with a Sustainable And Luxury Design:

The team, led by architectural director Giovanni Patania and architect Roberta Sanna, created a brand-new concept, which included the removal of a metal staircase outside and incorporated a hallway and ramp (fit for escape purposes).

All specifications of the project are high-end, offering modern, eco-friendly, and luxurious spaces for both tenant and retailer.

It is now an eco-friendly optometrist with energy-efficient windows, natural ventilation and recycled flooring. It’s even been fitted out with a coffee bar for clients to enjoy a drink while waiting for their appointment”

In the press