Kathryn Anthony Opticians, 16 Pierrepont Street, City Centre, Bath
16 Pierrepont Street forms part of a Grade II mid-18th century residential terrace, now a mix of office buildings with ground floor retail units and shopfronts, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the setting of a high concentration of Grade II, II*, and I buildings along Manvers Street, and is situated adjacent to the Grade II* 2-6 Pierrepont Street running into the corner of the Grade I South Parade. It forms part of the northern ‘wing’ centred around the Grade II* St James’s Portico, a mid-18th century arcade onto Old Orchard Street. 16 Pierrepont Street forms part of a regular, terraced building frontage in Bath stone ashlar with dropped window sills at first floor level and projecting cornice heads in a Palladian style. The existing shopfront is indicated to be “later C20” (Historic England), contemportary with other 1920s – later 20th century shopfronts along this section of the terrace.
We are supportive of the proposed remedial works for the cleaning of stonework and repairs of previous signage fixing points, pending further material details.
The repainting of the timber frontage in a subdued colour is considered to be appropriate. We recommend a matte or eggshell finish is used rather than a gloss to minimise an overly shiny or reflective appearance in the streetscape.
However, we have some concerns regarding the proposed use and excessive volume of acrylic signage. We do not consider this to be compatible with the traditional appearance and finish of a listed building, and the wider character and appearance of the conservation area. We are resistant to the introduction of more overtly modern materials such as acrylic and plastic which provide an unwelcome, unsympathetic contrast with the established character and appearance of the area. We strongly recommend consideration of alternative, more compatible signage finishes, such as the use of high-quality metal or timber lettering in an appropriately complementary colour and finish.
Where pinned lettering is proposed, it may be prudent to retain and reuse some of the existing fixing points into the stonework to minimise the need for further drilling into the stone face and resulting, irreversible loss of historic fabric.
Similarly, we note that the proposed hanging sign would be “made from acrylic and/or painted wood"; we continue to emphasise that an acrylic hanging sign would be inappropriate in this location. Hanging sign boards should be timber with a hand-painted finish.