Long's Building Housing

Client : Focus Housing Association
Architect : Bruges Tozer Architects Completion date : Jan 1995
Size : 2 000 to 4 999 sqm Contract value : £0.5m - £4.99m
Housing experience : Public Housing, Conversion & Extensions
Commercial experience : Conservation
Services : Landscape Design

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About this project

The Long's Buildings project produced 27 low energy homes from a group of derelict industrial buildings. The project involved close iaison with the Local Authority and English Heritage. Work to the principle grade II* listed building was grant aided. The site was an amalgam of industrial buildings varying in age from recent tobacco and snuff production to silk spinning at the turn of the industrial revolution. Sadly neglected and on the final stages of dereliction , the site apeared to be destined for total redevelopment. Bruges Tozer recognising potential uses for the existing buildings set about a dialogue with English Heritage .This produced a building by building debate on retention or clearance, stability and subdivision . Car parking demands required clearance of 2 buildings with street frontage but their best elevational features have been retained. Focus Housing Association and Kennet District Council became interested in the site for social housing. The scheme built includes new build infills stitching together carefully repaired and converted listed buildings around two courtyards to produce an enjoyably landscaped addition to the centre of Devizes. Procurement was under a Design & Build contract. As part of the social housing development , 'Longs building', a grade 2* listed local landmark was repaired and converted into 9 flats. 4 of these units are designed for elderly person and disabled occupation. The building, originally built in 1785 as John Anstie's textile factory, is a monument of outstanding national importance reflecting the transition from domestic to centralised and mechanised production in the textile industry. When Bruges Tozer were commissioned to undertake a survey of the building it had fallen into dereliction and was found to be structurally unstable requiring emergency measures to stabilise the building before an alternative use was found. Conservation work entailed all aspects of repair from the careful retention of the original Crown sash window glazing to the rebuilding of a 3 storey extension behind a retained facade.Roof trusses and floor beams were repaired in situ with flitch plates and the external walls were stabilised with a new stair and lift core. Grant aided stone and brickwork repairs were carried out after cleaning of the elevations.

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