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Work starts on McGonigle McGrath’s £750k ‘home from home’

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Work has begun on McGonigle McGrath’s conversion of a listed townhouse in Belfast into a new home for cancer charity Clic Sargent

The £750,000 project in Belfast’s Queens conservation area, will provide a ‘home from home’ and offices within the five-storey Georgian townhouse.

According to the architects, ‘new elements diminish in scale as they step away from the retained building, creating secluded enclosure and addressing the rear mews.’

The 560m² project in College Gardens is the second overseen by the emerging Belfast-based practice for the cancer charity. The firm won a RIBA Regional Award for a similar scheme in the city’s Falls Road area which completed in December 2013 (AJ 30.04.14)

Alongside the charity’s offices, the new building will provide accommodation for families of children being treated for cancer at the local hospital.  

The scheme is set to complete in October this year (2015).

The architect’s view

‘It is proposed that the integrity of the listed building and terrace are protected, with retention and restoration of period features and details. New additions are distinct and compliment retained elements. The Home from Home occupies the main retained period building, accessed from College Gardens, and distinct from the office which is to the rear, accessed from the Mews.

‘The massing of the added elements comprises a diminishing series of simple blocks which spiral away from the existing retained building. The new elements are simple in form, and have carefully proportioned openings and wall thicknesses. Detailing of the roofs in relationship to the walls is crisp and precise.

‘Materials are flush pointed red brick, chosen to compliment the traditional stock housing brick of Belfast evident in the existing building, lead or dark zinc roofs and wall cappings, and carefully detailed windows and doors.’

McGonigle McGrath's Home from Home

Project data

Location 26 College Gardens, Belfast
Type of project refurbishment and extension of B2 Listed Building in a Conservation Area
Client Clic Sargent NI
Architect McGonigle McGrath
Structural engineer Design ID
M&E consultant McGonigle McGrath
Quantity surveyor Faithful & Gould
Planning supervisor Faithful & Gould
Main contractor Alskea Contracts
Funding Private through charity
Tender date Summer 2014
Start on site date Late 2014
Completion date Late 2015
Contract duration 10 months
Gross internal floor area 560m²
Form of contract and/or procurement JCT Intermediate Form / Traditional tender process
Total cost £750,000

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