Up until World War II, England's Astley Castle, a fortified chateau in Warwickshire, was a part of the royal family's fat, castle-packed real estate portfolio. After a stint as a hotel, the 13th-century structure—medieval stonework, adjacent church, moated grounds, and all—was left to ruin, and a fire in 1978 made it all but unsalvageable. Still, the Landmark Trust, a preservationist organization in the UK, held a contest to restore the structure, ultimately recruiting London-based firm Witherford Watson Mann Architects to buttress the structure's crumbling veneer and transform the abandoned residence into a functional vacation rental. More below.
? Rather than attempt to completely restore the villa's former splendor, the architects embraced the ruined structure, opting to use the decayed structure as a foreground for contemporary design. Working alongside a team of archaeologists, the construction crew used concrete supports and steel rods to fortify the exterior, using brick to maintain the color continuity.
? A "before" shot of the castle. The construction team had to use cranes to move the larger support elements across the moat.
? Astley Castle sleeps eight, and rents for £675 ($1,034) for four nights.
· Witherford Watson Mann Architects: Astley Castle Renovation [Design Boom]
· Book Astley Castle in Warwickshire, England. [Landmark Trust]
· All Castle Wire posts [Curbed National]