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—— Conversion of large commercial building into 25 affordable apartments …read more

Status : Completed 2021

Location : Harrietsham, Kent

Project Description:

The existing building composed of 2 drastically different internal spaces, each serving a different purpose when the building was previously occupied. Originally used as a warehouse and commercial showroom with offices, the existing layout featured small offices and large open plan storage spaces.

Reinterpreting the layout to provide high quality residential housing was a challenging exercise, where existing loadbearing columns and walls had to be carefully navigated. The design team sought to limit the removal of the existing walls, floors and ceiling structures where possible and retain the existing circulation cores to reduce the volume of new-build construction and therefore the carbon footprint of the development as a whole.

Whilst Tenacre Court has a large footprint, it is relatively shallow building, which provided us an opportunity to split the floorplan down the centre and create apartments on either side of a central circulation corridor. This layout provides access to natural daylight via retained existing windows and newly formed window openings to improve the living conditions where required.

The existing façade of the building includes a number of unique architectural features which have also been retained to respect the original character of the design. The large porthole windows, triangular dormer roof structures, oversized glazing to the central entrance area and dark timber cladding details have been retained, renovated and extended to create a rich mix of architectural details across the development which reinforces the individuality of the building and makes for an interesting place to live.

The rectangular ‘wing’ of the building that runs parallel with the A20 (Ashford Road) has a unique roof comprising of 3no. large roof structures each with false cowl. The roof presented an opportunity to construct a new level of accommodation, creating 3 additional private apartments. New skylights have been added within each of the habitable rooms and further skylights have been added to the new circulation corridor and extended staircase to improve the quality of light and to help with wayfinding during daylight hours.

False Oast Roof before conversion