design, create and deliver considered, responsive & contextual architecture; buildings, places & communities for all.

George Williams House, historically a large outmoded hostel facility in Portlslade managed by the YMCA, was demolished in 2007 to make way for a newbuild £5.1m project consisting of 38 flats, 5 shared houses and a life skills centre for the residents.

Designed around central landscaped terraces and garden spaces on a site surrounded on all sides by existing building stock, the arrangement is such that the quadrangle conceived presents all primary fascades and circulation cores towards the gardens as well as the teaching and art spaces, IT suites and offices of the life skills building which features large areas of glazed façade and a sedum roof. The design is aimed towards assisting the vulnerable and recovering end-users in their rehabilitation and an environment that provides them with individual houses instead of an institutional home.

A balance of sensitivity, integration and vibrancy is reflected in the low maintenance materials, textures and colours, the building is designed to be energy efficient, and the elevational treatment and articulation reflect the rhythm of nearby developments in Portslade. It uses a sympathetic mix of natural untreated sweet chestnut boarding, brick and render in response to the site and ensures the new buildings are about people – clients, staff and visitors.

Within each of the houses, residents have their own room with ensuite facilities as well as communal kitchen and living room. The new flats are self-contained with living/bed space, kitchen and shower rooms. All individuals are able to take ownership of their own space and feel independent.