Meet the Architect: Emma-Jane Dawson

There’s one person who loves Crusader just as much as the community themselves, meet Emma from Shedkm – the architects behind the restoration design. We fired some quick questions Emma’s way to see what makes the mill so special.

What’s the best part of restoring an 180 year old mill?

Every site visit unearths a hidden feature, providing some great photo opportunities. It’s a privilege to be able to walk through the building and appreciate it in all it’s glory! Plus, it’ll probably still be here in the next 180 years!

What’s your favourite existing feature of Crusader mill?

The colour and texture of the existing brick. Before the paint had been removed we could never appreciate the raw beauty of the building inside. Now we can really get a feel for the space and the unique quality this will bring to the apartments.

What’s your favourite new feature of Crusader mill?

I visited Crusader a few weeks ago and was walking through the courtyard when I noticed some of the existing infilled arches had been opened up, introducing views into the courtyard. I loved the scale and shape of the arches, I just had to get a photo!

What makes a mill so different from new build apartments?

Where to start..! The scale of the living spaces and full height windows will bring a lofty feel to the spaces, the character that the red brick and cast iron columns will bring to these city centre apartments is not something that’s easily achievable with a new build.

It’s fascinating to think that this building has been standing for 180 years and the history it’s been a part of…if walls could talk! Don’t get me wrong though, I do love a good new build!

Why does a mill conversion like Crusader make such a great home rather than commercial or leisure space?

Mill conversions make great buildings, whatever the use. But it seems fitting that the only Listed building left in the HS2 masterplan makes 123 unique new homes. Crusader is lucky enough to have Piccadilly Station on it’s doorstep and the City centre a stones throw away it’s the ideal location for a new home.

Emma-Jane Dawson, architect at shedkm. An award–winning practice based in Liverpool and London. She also has a slight obsession with Elvis Presley.