We at Blair Gratton Architects have just completed the conversion and renovation of a derelict former Victorian Coach House situated in Derby to apartments.
The first floor of the building was used as a boxing club in the ’50’s. One wall was papered with sepia tinted photos of prize fighters form all over Britain and the Commonwealth and 4 cast iron rings were fitted to the external walls, used to thread the ring ropes. Since those days the building had been used for storage, it had cast metal windows and holes in the floor with an asbestos roof. The two trusses were rotten, there were no services, no electric, gas or drainage to the building and rainwater poor from old broken guttering.
Our client had the idea to convert it into apartments – If something wasn’t done some it was likely to collapse.
The designs had to take into account that one end and the rear elevation of the building formed boundaries to neighbouring properties in an area of Victorian terraces.
We successfully obtained Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval after which we developed a Specification and Invited Tenders from local building contractors in Derby.
Administering the project under a Contract with the clients chosen contractor we set about the conversion.
It soon became evident that the condition of the building was far worse than was determined resulting in large elements of re-building. All parties, particularly the client were open, flexible and supportive during periods where the constructed works had to change from the original proposals.
We are familiar in working with old buildings and adapting quickly to the demands of the project to ensure that the contractor can progress.
The budget was controlled so that despite fundamental changes to how the building was to be re-built we found methods that kept the costs well within check.
The front wall had to be re-built so we ensured that reclaimed bricks were used with period detailing to match.
The ‘King-Post’ trusses were repaired and incorporated into the roof construction rather than going for a standard truss rafter system – the traditional cost no more and retained an important feature of their structure and the headroom on the first floor.
The apartments are light, airy with all the modern services and appliances necessary for the spaces to be let.
The conversion ensured that this characterful structures survived and was given a new purpose.