Client: The Royal Hospital Chelsea
Project construction value: £3.7m
Services provided: Project Management
Until this project the famous scarlet-coated pensioners
had been living in dated 9ft by 9ft berths first designed by Sir
Christopher Wren in 1692.
Northcroft was appointed as project manager to oversee the
refurbishment of 34 berths as the first phase of the Royal
Hospital’s modernisation programme.
Completed on time and on budget the project was undertaken to
address the need to incorporate en suite facilities to the berths
to provide the pensioners with private showers and toilet.
The modernisation of the long wards would mean keeping one
corridor on each floor as Wren designed, but an opening would be
formed through the spine wall and extend the berth across the
opposite corridor to form the bedroom and en suite area.
The original Wren corridor would still retain the original 17th
Century panelling to the front of the berths but the exising
bedroom (berth) area would formed in to a ‘study’ area for each
pensioner.The significance of the Wren Grade I listed buildings,
coupled with their usage (i.e. being home to some 400 Chelsea
Pensioners) meant the works needed to be sympathetic to the
building and its soundings.
The work was also finished to the highest standard of
workmanship in order to satisfy the requirements of English
Heritage, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Conservation
Officer and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
(SPAB). The work has provided an important step forward in
conserving the usage of these historic buildings.