The site dates back to the 18th century and lies within St John Street conservation area. A grade II listed building (8/8a) fronts onto St John Street with a tree lined yard to the rear. Historically, No. 8 and 8a St John Street were used as residential townhouses. The proposed development involves the refurbishment, conversion and alteration of the current commercial offices in order to reinstate the use of residential dwellings. No works are proposed to the St John Street elevation or the side elevation of the listed building with the exception of general repairs and improvements.
The works to the interior of the listed building have been kept to a minimum, working with the existing cellular plan form where possible. The proposals seek to strip out 20th century additions and to create contemporary and highly detailed living spaces while refurbishing, highlighting and celebrating original features such as chimney breasts, staircases, floor finishes and areas of cornicing.
A new three storey extension is proposed to the rear of the listed building which involves a degree of demolition of later additions and existing outriggers. The design of the rear extension takes a simple and ordered approach with stone cladding and bronze aluminium metal work to contrast the red/brown brick of the listed building. This ensures it is clearly read as a contemporary, modern and honest intervention.
As well as the proposed work to the listed building, the proposals include a new two storey, highly sustainable residential dwelling to the rear of the site in place of the existing tree yard. This would reinstate built form and residential use to both Longworth Street and Artillery Street.
The proposed new building to the rear of the site will create an attractive, contemporary, yet contextual building. The height and scale of the new dwelling responds to the hierarchy of streets, appearing subservient and ancillary to the townhouses of St John Street. It also responds to the prevailing materials found within this part of the conservation area including red/brown brickwork. The elevations are articulated and enlivened through areas of recessed, perforated and patterned brickwork, all within Flemish bond to respond to No’s 8 and 8a St John Street. The proposed dwelling is separated from the listed building by proposed garden areas hidden behind a new boundary wall of red/brown brick. This helps to reinstate built form along Longworth Street.