Forming part of the former Rowntree site in York, the Cocoa Works have been linked to the manufacture of cocoa and confectionery since the 1890s, with the site being continually developed and expanded until recent times.
In 1988, the site was purchased by Nestle from Rowntree, and modern changes in production techniques led to numerous buildings becoming no longer viable and substantial demolition occurred across the site. The Almond Block built in 1911, Cream Block built in 1936 and the Memorial Library built in 1927 were effectively the only buildings remaining on the site following Nestles transfer of manufacturing.
Subsequently, planning approval was granted for the conversion and extension of the former Almond and Cream Blocks to form 258 new apartments with an additional level of penthouse apartments proposed, along with a convenience store, business centre, car parking and a new access road.
Clarion Housing, the UK’s largest housing association, appointed Shockledge to develop the civil and structural scheme through conceptual design to Construction for the project.
The key structural challenges in delivering the project have been the relocation of all of the existing lateral stability elements and access stair cores, the strengthening works to facilitate an additional level of penthouse apartments, as well as the remedial and repair works required to the façade and basement. The project has proved very interesting with a large spectrum of building techniques to contend with due to the nature of the existing buildings being constructed over several decades.