Home Property & Construction Designing permanence into Joseph Rowntree’s legacy

Designing permanence into Joseph Rowntree’s legacy

Carly Barry of Carly Agnes, inside one of the freshly completed apartments at Pavement, central York.

The painstaking and sensitive restoration of Joseph Rowntree’s birthplace has been nominated for the CGI & Visualisation Design category at the prestigious SBID International Design Awards 2019.

Pavement is a soon-to-be-completed block of extraordinarily well-appointed apartments, in the city centre of York. The imposing building has been converted into eight properties, and the delivery of the project has presented a challenge that would stretch even the most seasoned of designers and developers.

Fortunately, specialist developer, LSG, appointed Yorkshire-based Stonehouse Projects to bring the refurbishment to fruition. A staggering number of original features were retained, seeing the developer sacrifice margin for finish. The product goes well beyond the required specification of the grade two listing.

What, then, fuels this sort of approach? “A meeting of minds,” explains Steve Waugh, director of Stonehouse. Waugh recognised that the skillset of a contractor alone was not sufficient to do justice to the history of the project. With that in mind, he enlisted the expertise of Carly Barry, director of Carly Agnes, to devise, manage and deliver the overall vision of the design, fit and furnish of the development.

The three-party input saw a group of professionals looking back to move forwards. Barry explained: “it was hard not to form an attachment to the old building… we all had such a fond association with the chocolates and sweets that Rowntree produced. We all knew, independently of one another, that we had to do something truly special.”

The product of such collaboration is a renovation that looks and feels high-end and makes use of the irregular spaces that are characteristic of listed buildings. Barry’s influence is evident throughout the building, from the choice of flooring in the communal areas through to the preservation of particular internal doors in some of the apartments.

Barry added: to be person behind the concept design for a building steeped in so much history, has been both a huge honour and responsibility.”


Carly Agnes has been in the business of interior design, furnishing and conceptualisation for 25 years. Based in Yorkshire, the firm delivers a quality look and feel across a number of sectors and always on-budget.

Stonehouse designs, builds and fits out a wide array of commercial and residential projects. Based in Apperley Bridge, Yorkshire, the firm has delivered national projects at scale and quality.

The SBID International Design Awards has firmly established itself as one of the most prestigious interior design Awards in the global design calendar. The awards recognise, reward and celebrate design excellence across a broad range of categories. Winning a SBID International Design Award is a high achievement – they are evaluated by leading industry experts for their technical content and aesthetic creativity while the design-conscious public also has a say in choosing the most inspiring projects.