When Fermain Tower was bequeathed to the National Trust of Guernsey in 2002 it was in near derelict condition. Though originally the plan had been to repair and open the Tower as a historic attraction, CCD Architects saw greater potential for what the Tower could offer both to the Trust and the wider community.
In transforming the Tower into one of the Channel Islands’ smallest and most unique self-catering units, the Tower has been given a sustainable new life. In designing a bespoke fit-out within its tiny circular floors the essence of the existing tower’s rugged history has been retained, whilst not only providing all mod-cons but within an exciting contemporary design. The new fit out sits apart from the existing walls and the juxtaposition between the old and the new is evident throughout the design.
The project features accommodation over three floors and a roof terrace, all accessed using bespoke ladders and a feature staircase. This staircase epitomises the challenges faced in the Tower’s design and construction; needing to fit the tower’s exact dimensions, perform many roles by creating all storage including a full kitchenette, and all fabricated in parts so as to fit through the tower’s tiny door.
The on-site constraints that the Tower presented in its size and lack of accessibility tested the construction team greatly, however this never took precedent over the vision for what the Tower could become. The Fermain Tower is a truly collaborative project with Architects, Engineers, Contractors and several specialist craftsmen working together closely to find innovative solutions to every challenge faced and achieve an exceptional end product, all whilst taking care to conserve the Tower as a Protected Monument.
CCD are delighted that The Fermain Tower Project won Engineering Project of the Year at the 2019 Guernsey Construction Awards, celebrating challenging projects which have been overcome with innovative solutions and teamwork.
Designed by Oliver Westgarth RIBA, whilst Director at CCD.