Working for landowners the Kent & Medway Partnerships NHS Trust, the Clague designed scheme secures a residential use on what is one of the very best sites in the town center. As modern replacement health service centres were developed elsewhere in the District, the NHS Trust has gradually reduced the number of their staff based on the site, making it available for conversion to residential use and thus funding further health infrastructure investment in the District.

The site was originally occupied by a Georgian villa which was extended in various phases from 1890 to 1930 to form the first purpose built Homeopathic Hospital in the country. The various extensions and remodellings during this period eventually subsumed the original Georgian house into a substantial three storey institutional building of unique appearance featuring a range of architectural influences including neo Georgian, Arts & Crafts and Scottish Baronial.

The internal re-ordering and conversion to residential use means that some of the later ad-hoc extensions and visual clutter such as fire escapes and lift shafts serving the former wards & offices can be removed from the primary elevations. The historic features such as balconies, covered verandas, cut stone detailing and the original timber sash windows are to be restored and archive photographs of the buildings helped to clarify the original appearance of some of these features.

A wonderful rear garden with mature horse chestnut trees has been retained as a shared amenity space for the residents of the 12 proposed apartments. The apartments range from 70 to 120 square meters featuring open plan living areas which draw much of their character from re-use of the quirky existing features such as bay windows, vaulted ceilings and turrets. The scheme re-used an existing parking area to provide on-site car parking and with the provision of basement level shared storage areas and common rooms internally, these new apartments will make for exceptional town centre homes.


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