Standing proudly outside High Wycombe train station is the newly conserved and repurposed Grade II Listed Brunel Engine Shed – transformed from near-derelict to flexible commercial space as part of an ambitious, heritage-led urban regeneration scheme by Buckinghamshire Council.
As Project and Cost Manager, Steve Crockford, is justifiably proud of the outcome. The complex conservation, refurbishment and extension of the old structure has sensitively balanced the requirements for modern office spaces, energy standards and maximising rents, with respect for preserving and protecting the historic building fabric.
Conservation works included in-depth surveys of the existing structure and timber roof trusses, resulting in extensive conservation work including carbon fibre strengthening rods to the joints between new and old timbers, creative reuse of materials like the Ticket Hall floorboards which were removed, repaired and then re-laid. The existing floor slab, built over the old tracks was crumbling in places, requiring a new suspended slab supported on mini piles positioned around historic below ground structures.
The new extension clearly echoes the form of the existing shed and is constructed with CLT and tapered Glulam beams, providing a clear span like the original hall, whilst showcasing contemporary timber engineering methods.
Sitting at the gateway to the town centre, the characterful shell and core development of this historic asset has attracted significant commercial interest, giving the Council a wealth of options to consider, beyond their initial expectations.