Following years of hard slog, an ever changing financial landscape and the trials and tribulations of working with the local conservation team, one of our favourite projects is poised to be practically complete. I hope my readers enjoy this post and looking at the following images and welcome any comments. The thirty or so seconds it takes to read this post in no way reflect the extensive efforts of a great client, design team and contractor!
36&37 Wellington Square in Hastings are a pair of Grade 2 listed Georgian townhouses, constructed as part of a terrace in the late 1800s as speculative housing around a ‘modern’ green square. Shortly after, they were converted to rooms for holiday-makers who had travelled to the seaside to take in the sea air and to enjoy the local spa. In the early 1900s, the local council took a pair of adjacent townhouses to use as their offices and not long after, took on four adjacent buildings. In 2009, we helped one of our clients acquire the six buildings when they came up for auction, as the council had moved into purpose built office accommodation and work finally started on the conversion in January 2013.
Ten apartments and two maisonettes have been created, all mixing preserved original features with modern finishes and installations. The image above shows the view from the front room at first floor, in what would have been the family living room, located at the piano nobile, or principle floor.
The council were less than respectful of the original features and hence the project required careful detailing and replacement of features such as the six panelled doors with feature moulding seen in the image above. The image also shows a modern kitchen installation, designed so as to appear as a piece of furniture, rather than a kitchen. In this way, it is hoped the large room will retain its feel as a living room, that happens to contain an item of kitchen furniture, as opposed to a large kitchen that has some living room furniture in it, a subtle yet important difference.
The image above shows a run of cornice that was prepared to match the existing, as a replacement for badly degraded cornice. The junction of new and original cornice cannot be discerned, such is the quality of the installation.
In a similar way, the need to conceal the gas boiler was considered with an eye on traditional details. The image above shows the boiler cupboard, the design of which was based on measured drawings of an original cupboard elsewhere in the buildings. An appropriate balance of traditional and overtly modern has been maintained throughout the building, although it might be said that the LED mirror in the shower room has moved fully into the realm of bling!