‘Grandparent of Skyscrapers’ opens to visitors

10 Sep 2022

Copyright Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

FCBStudios have completed a flagship heritage regeneration project to bring to life the listed Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings as an adaptable workspace, leisure destination and social enterprise hub for ‘the next 100 years’.

Situated on the northern edge of Shrewsbury, the site reflects a time when Shropshire led the way in engineering. Its remarkable story is one of revolution, innovation, and evolution.

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings has been referred to as the ‘grandparent of skyscrapers’. When built in 1797, it was the world’s first iron-framed building, a new technology developed to give better fire protection, that paved the way for the tall steel-framed buildings around the world.

Derelict for many years and on the point of collapse, the big challenge has been to identify a future for the site that would protect and conserve the historic buildings. The £28 million repair and adaptive re-use of the site, for Historic England, has revitalised one of the most important buildings of the industrial revolution as a low-carbon, mixed-use development and a catalyst for the economic regeneration of this area of the town

It has provided a new space for learning on the ground floor which tells the story of the Mill's role in the industrial revolution and in world architecture, along with a public café. Above, four floors of flexible office space will provide accommodation for around 300 people, circulation and meeting space within the Kiln for commercial tenants, as well as access for tour visitors to the restored Jubilee Tower.

Read more about Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings