Daniel Gilbert House
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Daniel Gilbert House, Code St, E1 5ER

Is owned and operated by Providence Row Housing Association to provide accommodation for single homeless people with support needs. Built in 1990 and offering 3 types of accommodation: Stage 1 High support – bedrooms with communal/shared sanitary facilities, meals provided on a communal basis; Stage 2 Medium support – bedrooms with self-contained ensuite sanitary facilities, own cooking facilities; Stage 3 Low support – self-contained flats.

The project was to convert all of the high support, Stage 1 accommodation, into medium support, stage 2, with ensuite sanitary facilities and own cooking. And to subdivide the hostel into 3 distinct buildings with separate identities.

The structure of the upper floors could not accommodate extensive removal of loadbearing internal partitions. To work around this new rooms were formed in two parts; the main part containing the bed/sitting area and the ‘annexe’ part contained the cooking & washroom facilities. Wherever possible we used existing main risers to route the necessary additional services.

It was necessary to programme the works in phases to minimise the amount of the building needing to be unoccupied at any one time. Also, the communal kitchen and dining room could not be closed until all of the rooms without cooking facilities were converted, or taken out of commission. In order to demonstrate how this could be achieved safely, we prepared detailed phasing drawings which also showed temporary means of escape and tenant access arrangements.