YOUTH recently restored and modernized Stone Cross, an iconic grade-II gothic-style manor house built in 1878, located in rural Cumbria. The studio's aim was to bring a contemporary liveability to space, whilst creating a strong design narrative that wove together quintessential British history with opulent drama and character, whilst bringing in elements of Danish design. The challenge was to complement and accentuate the existing ornate architectural features such as the stone carvings and decorative tiled floor, with current materiality and shapes.
The design approach was to play with the building's existing tones, developing them into a muted, yet meaningful palette, whilst juxtaposing features through joinery and finishes that highlighted both the beauty and contrasts of the old and new. By using stainless steel and mirror, the reflective materials emphasized Stone Cross' elegant architecture, rather than competing with it, or taking anything away from it. Whilst the studio's incorporation of monolithic, square edges sat paradoxical to the softer, curved shapes.
"The manor in itself is a piece of art, so every detail was planned in accordance to how we could highlight its beauty," said YOUTH co-founder Liam McGroarty. "Our goal was to breathe new life into the space, whilst considering balance and awe."
The main living area was amplified by &tradition's Develius sofa and HANDVÄRK's Daybed, a timeless classic described as 'the crown jewel' of the collection, apt for such a regal space. In the communal entrance area, the &tradition Loafer chairs, designed by Space Copenhagen, accentuate the existing warm tones within the tiled floor, whilst the RUBN Lektor Floor lamp brings a striking, contemporary edge.
The design of Stone Cross has ensured that its grounds remain an important heritage asset, restoring its former public glory to make a positive contribution to the fabric of the area and its historic environment for years to come.
Photography: Felix Mooneeram