High Street – Gillingham, Kent
Bowman Riley was commissioned to the design the refurbishment and extension to a Victorian building located on a prominent corner site on the High Street, Gillingham opposite the 150-year-old St Mark’s Church.
The vacant four-storey building was built in the 1890s with a late 20th-century extension. It had been occupied by Barclays Bank on the ground floor with a mix of offices and three residential apartments on the upper floors.
The brief was to bring this centrally located building back to life providing an appealing retail space on the ground floor with an active facade and help fulfil ever-growing housing needs by converting the upper floors offices into three additional two-bedroom apartments.
Our design preserves the historic façades whilst changing the internal layout of the building and adds an extra storey to the newer part of the building that creates consistent continuation with the historical part.
As the building was previously used for a bank, there are vaults in the ground with a huge bank vault door that we are leaving in place as part of the facade preservation.
We moved the existing ground floor garden space to the roof of the first-floor extension to create a usable amenity space for future residents and added balconies to the apartments.
A challenge was to separate the residential and commercial parts of the building to allow for the good functioning of both elements. We developed a Revit model to help understand the complexity of the building and how best to create separate entrances and staircases for the different uses.