Location: Hove, East Sussex
Work carried-out: A Planning Application was submitted for conversion of the roofspace to form extra office accommodation for the Trust to make available for rent. Due to the nature of the building with so many users being partially sighted or blind, considerations went beyond the Building Regulations. 2 of the builders who had worked on the original conversion were engaged by the clients once again.
Project description: This property had originally been built as the offices and executive suite for the DuBarry perfumery which is next to it and there used to be bridge links at First Floor Level. It had various uses in the intervening time. The Trust acquired the building in 2013 and as it was in some disrepair work immediately started to bring it up to a good standard.
The idea to use the empty loft space as extra accommodation for other compatible groups came about in 2017 and we were delighted to help with achieving the necessary permissions. The work is now complete and the building is ready for a full occupation and another chapter in its life. The builders managed to complete their work without impacting the day to day functioning of the building and the connection to the top floor suite blends in very well.
More about Blatchington Court Trust
Established in 1995, we are an independent, impartial, financially secure charity working to promote and support the needs of blind and partially sighted people under the age of 30 who live in Sussex. Our services include educational support where we work with you to remove barriers to learning at school/college, employment support, provision of assistive technology for home use and counselling.
The building is a hub for their own activities which include social activities, cookery sessions, coffee mornings, social groups etc…, and for other groups based there with separate tenancies.
The building has been decorated with mainly light wall finishes and a strong mid-blue for main features as this is a particularly good contrasting colour for definition for those with partial sight. A trail rail, in the same colour blue, has been installed on the ground floor and in the basement to enable severely sight impaired people to find their way around these areas of the building. Braille signage has also been placed on all internal and external doors. Tactile hazard paving has been placed at the top and bottom of the external front door and also at the pavement end of the ramp.
Contractors: Eddie Biddlecombe with Gordon Virgo, Bill Brandreth & Mick Byrne.
Our staff and Trustees are very pleased with the loft conversion and the work carried out by DK Architects. The design works well and anyone who did not visit the building prior to the conversion would never know that the new staircase and loft conversion had not formed part of the original design of the building.