Plymouth Architects Design Conversion of Historic Building into Luxury Apartments

Plymouth-based architects Ercle are working with clients, developer Chris Gait and builders Goulden & Sons, to deliver the final building conversion on the historic Millfields Estate, Plymouth – a former Naval Hospital originally built by French Prisoners of War (POW), it offered care for sick and injured marines who helped forge the greatest Naval Force the World has ever seen.

The impressive conversion of the whole site began in 2000 and The Old Dispensary, within the Millfields development, is being restored and converted into spacious and contemporary New York-style loft apartments. With 4.2m high ceilings and 2m high windows, the aesthetic and feel of a Manhattan conversion, offers the very best of modern living with the tranquillity and elegance of the 18th century setting.   The buildings and grounds at Millfields Trust are surrounded by the original hospital wall, providing a secure gated environment, giving residents total peace of mind.

Chris Gait well-known for his attention to detail, has invested time in choosing bespoke fittings and finishes to complement this impressive structure. The developer’s previous projects have been included in the Times Property Supplement as the main feature property. Chris said: “We are very excited about how well the project is coming along and now the main roof work has been completed the building is really starting to take shape.   Ercle Architects have done a spectacular job including the framing of the stunning views from the second-floor balconies.  Their ability to work in sympathy with the existing building and getting the most value from it, can clearly be seen when you walk around the site.”

Ercle architects – specialists in bespoke residential work, are ideally placed to oversee this exciting new project as they have a bird’s eye view from their own office in Creykes Court adjacent to the site. Residential architects, working in cutting-edge software, the architectural practice is well versed in working in the historic environment and regularly design conversions and new-build and really enjoy working on challenging sites.

Eric Davis the director of Ercle comments: “This is a fantastic building with impressive high ceilings and the spacious apartments are generous in size. It’s a real credit to the client who has chosen quality over quantity, creating 12 luxury units where, previous schemes sought 15 apartments within the same space.  The high-quality specification and the provision of two parking spaces per apartment sets it as a standout development.”

South West contractors Goulden & Sons Limited, a third-generation firm founded in the 1930’, are a local family-run company well-respected, with an excellent reputation for producing high-quality work.   They recognised the unique opportunity in the project early on and became a joint partner in the scheme.  By becoming an investor, they have solidified their commitment to delivering a scheme to the highest standards.  The team on site are working very hard to complete the scheme on time and on target to deliver a show-home by the end of March with the scheme due to be completed by late spring 2018.

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Breakout column:

*1759 was The Royal Navy’s wonderful year seeing them victorious in many battles. Naval supremacy came at a cost, and in 1760 the first patients arrived at The Royal Naval Hospital.

The Old Dispensary development is adjacent to the historic jetty where injured naval personal were brought to the hospital via a creek from the ships in the harbour. The severely injured were taken in boats up the creek and unable to take part in rowing with many dying – hence the term ‘Up a creek without a paddle’

*Historic note – the site was hit by 24 bombs between 1941-1942!

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Photo of Eric Davis and David Goulden
Picture caption: Eric Davis – director of Ercle Architects & David Goulden – director of Goulden & Sons

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