Rebuilding A Beloved High Street Optometrist Store After A Fire

Taank Cambridge - © 2021 Ian Olsson


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
In spite of a very tight deadline, we managed to complete the work in record time thanks to in-depth architectural plans and an innovative space-saving solution.
Location: Mill Road, Cambridge
Sector: Commercial
Construction Costs: £500,000
Size: ?sqft
Status: Complete
Architect: Windsor & Patania Architects
Partners: Layrd Design, Assent Building Control, NOVA Acoustics, Redston Associates

The history

This locally loved optometrist store, part of Mill Road Conservation Area, is comprised of 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. 

The future

The WindsorPatania team led by Architect Director, Giovanni Patania and Senior Architect Roberta Sanna worked around the clock to finish the project 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 Summer 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).

The front-facing exterior has been restored to retain as much of its original period features as possible, in 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.”

In the press