One of our favourite projects has just started on site- the conversion and renovation of a pair of splendid Grade 2 listed Regency town houses on Wellington Square in Hastings.
The buildings were constructed in the late Georgian period, at a time of great urban growth, and the provision of terraced town houses around green squares was a predominant feature of town planning during that time. When I was asked to look at the buildings for one of my clients in late 2009, I was able to look beyond the deterioration and the neglect and see the potential. I was also amazed at just how large the properties were, with their seven stories, wide frontages and tall rooms.
I was also able to discern how the houses would have been designed to suit their purpose as grand town houses for a moderately wealthy Georgian family and their servants. Reference to surviving drawings show kitchens and food and fuel stores at the lowest level, staff living quarters at lower ground, grand reception rooms at ground floor, or the piano nobile, elevated above the street level and accessed by stone stairs, family living and dining rooms at first floor, highlighted by beautifully curved french doors and windows protected by sweeping canopies, family sleeping accommodation at second and third and servants sleeping accommodation and nurseries at fourth floor. Despite housing occupants with less than sensitive approaches to building maintenance from about 1920 onwards, much of the original splendour remains and can be rescued.
Our proposals are for the conversion to twelve maisonettes and apartments, an approach which required careful thought on how to weave into the listed fabric the requirements of a modern apartment, as well as extensive discussion with the conservation team and the planning department. I will leave you with some of the images we prepared to illustrate the potential of the building to our clients and conservation team.