17 George Street, City Centre, Bath
17 George Street forms part of a Grade II late 18th century series of three terraced houses, now offices, situated at 16-18 George Street within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It contributes to the terraced setting and appearance of the Grade II late 18th century terrace at 1-9 Edgar Buildings, with which it shares its elevated setting on the raised pavement, overlooking the northern entrance onto Milsom Street. No. 17 retains a light touch elevational treatment at ground floor more indicative of its historic function as a residential dwelling, with the later addition of a timber fascia (potentially post-1950 based on its absence from the Historic England listing description) and the painting of the existing door frame to match.
Proposed signage works would constitute an improvement to the existing signage already in situ. The existing stainless steel lettering on the fascia would be replaced with a mixture of bevelled timber signage and hand-gilded lettering, more in keeping with the traditional material qualities of the listed building, and the visual amenities of the conservation area.
The replacement of existing vinyls with inner-window gilding of a reduced scale and opacity is welcomed.
We support the replacement of the existing PPC aluminium hanging sign with a traditional-style hand-painted timber sign.
The fascia and main entranceway would be repainted in a more muted shade of blue, sympathetic to the softer colour palette of Bath’s streetscape, as dictated by the use of natural materials such as Bath stone ashlar. Where it is proposed to use a gloss paint, we express a preference for the use of a matte or eggshell finish to mitigate the potential of an overly shiny or reflective appearance in contrast with the building frontage.
We acknowledge that the frontage as existing features spotlights, which as part of this application would be retained and repainted black in an attempt to mitigate their existing appearance. Bath city centre is characterised as an area of low level illumination with a distinctive dark skies night time character that connects the built centre with its rural landscape context. Where possible, we strongly encourage the reduction of external illumination to minimise light spill and the effects of over-illumination. We therefore recommend that this application considers the possibility of reducing the volume of lighting across the building frontage, if not removing it entirely, or alternatively could consider alternatives such as the use of warmer tone LEDS at lower illuminance levels to avoid an overly harsh or bright appearance.