Railway Goods Shed Repurposed

Conversion of Victorian railway goods shed into an upscale farmers’ market and restaurant

Photos courtesy of Clague LLP

Canterbury West Station is one of the earliest railway stations in the U.K.  It was completed in the mid-19th Century, is listed Grade II and was home to the Invicta.

Formerly part of theStation complex, the Goods Shed building became redundant at least 30 years ago and was left empty until acquired by the current owner as a farmers’ market and restaurant.  The existing structure consisted of brick walling supporting a fine large span timber trussed roof with a low-pitched slate covering. Internally, the railway track and loading bays for the freight wagons were intact as were the large windows illuminating the interior on the railway track side.

The design proposals, had first and foremost, the objective of being sympathetic to the existing structure during the repair and conversion to ensure that the essential character of the building was retained.  The approach involved emphasising the robust and practical detailing together with the creation of an open raised area for restaurant seating overlooking the floor of the building where the daily farmers’ market could be set out.

Dividing up the internal volume would have reduced the impact of the space so dominated by the roof trusses. Great care was taken with joinery details to new openings and inserted features.  The building retains it’s 19th century utilitarian character while providing a setting for a bustling and popular public space.

The Goods Shed and it’s restaurant has become a hugely successful venture winning Best Food Market in BBCRadio 4 Food & Farming Awards 2009.


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