The site lies within the York Historic Core Conservation Area and Strategic View 21 of the Minster. The key moves were to limit the height of the new building below the City Wall and to create an elegant roofscape as the building is viewed from above when people climb onto the City Wall.
The chocolate brown copper cladding, to the roof and walls, compliments the range of tones found in the limestone of the City Wall. The aim was to set a strong, continuous colour against the patchwork of stone blocks. Sandblasted glazing provides privacy within the toilet block and movement of shadows externally. At night, the glazed areas glow from within. The roof of the toilets is clear glass and frames a view of Bootham Bar above.
The site is within a prominent location considered to be significant to the historic character of York.
The challenge, as we interpreted it, was to create an architectural response that added a new layer to York’s history, that reflects the design thinking and technical/material capabilities of our time. The additional challenge was to work within ‘a small box of scheduled ancient monument’. The technical detailing had to ‘touch the medieval wall lightly’.