Location: Leicester
Year: 2015

Halsall Lloyd Partnership prepared proposals to convert three Victorian terraced villas, located within a conservation area, from a decommisioned emergency homeless hostel into eight family dwellings and six bedsits suitable for supported living.

Working alongside the client, Leicester City Council, the final mix of family dwellings was three, four bedroom apartments; two duplexes and one wheelchair accessible, and five two bedroom apartments. This was selected as the most appropriate mix for two of the villas to suit the property and specific local housing need. The supported living element of the scheme was designed into the third villa, comprising 6No bedsits plus a communal lounge, large office with tea making facilities and sleep-over staff accommodation together with a communal garden to the rear.

The project repurposed an existing building, enabling it to fulfil a new life utilising the embodied energy within the existing building fabric. The fabric was thermally upgraded to the latest standards using a range of retrofit insulation solutions.

Efficient heating, lighting and ventilation systems were installed to further reduce the carbon emissions of the scheme.

All units are afforded excellent levels of natural daylight, with the plan layout carefully designed to maximise this within the living spaces of the accommodation.

The scheme considered, and wherever possible restored, the original proportions of rooms within the building, providing spacious living spaces for the new occupiers. Open plan layouts were adopted for the smaller units to make the best use of these spaces. Original features were retained and restored where practical to enhance the living spaces for future occupants and re-establish the character of the building. Original tiled floors were cleaned and sealed, with circulation areas designed to utilise these to maximum advantage.

Located within a conservation area, the front façade saw the restoration of the existing timber windows and surrounding stonework. A new hard and soft landscaping scheme was incorporated to enhance the street scene, alongside a new access ramp to provide level access to the supported living accommodation. All designed to respect and enhance the existing prominence of the Villas within the streetscape.

The supported living accommodation provided each bedsit with its own kitchen area and shower room/ensuite. This element of the scheme was specifically designed and provided to re-introduce people with severe learning difficulties into the community. Special consideration was given at each stage to the vulnerability of these end users and appropriate design and technological solutions identified and implemented. An anti-ligature specification was employed throughout this property to protect the end users.

The project was procurred under a traditional contract administered by HLP and the end result was well received by client and end users.

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