Farrow & Ball, 124 Walcot Street
124 Walcot Street forms part of a Grade II listed pair of late Victorian shops fronting a significant historically commercial street within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site, now recognised for its independent and alternative shops as Bath’s “artisan quarter”. The building contributes to the immediate contextual setting of numerous Grade II listed terraced shops, whilst its shop frontage forms part of the street’s visual, cultural, and social interest. Therefore, this application needs to demonstrate a sympathy with the streetscape’s established commercial character as well as the wider sign and shop frontage vernacular of Bath.
BPT does not object to the principle of a hanging sign mounted to the frontage of 124 Walcot Street. However, we have the following comments regarding this scheme:
The Trust prefers that new hanging signs be mounted to their associated fascia boards to minimise unnecessary damage to the historic stonework of a listed building. However, the application proposes that the signs will replace the defunct existing metal brackets on the front of the building. We would therefore emphasise that this replacement will only be considered appropriate if the same fixings in the stonework will be reused, consequently minimising any further stonework loss.
With regards to the sign design, we are supportive of the proposed sign itself. We encourage the use of quality materials such as timber and metal that harmonise with and enhance the traditional visual quality of Bath’s commercial streetscape. The colour scheme is subtle and does not distract from 124 Walcot Street’s historic architectural exterior. However, we feel that the proposed sign bracket is too contemporary, and is not in-keeping with the use of traditional, decorative brackets along Walcot Street. We recommend a bespoke approach to ensure an aesthetic continuity throughout the conservation area, and to minimise visual disruption to the architectural frontage of a listed building. We would therefore prefer a sign bracket that is tailored to the existing aesthetic character of the area.