GHK worked with Berkeley Homes on the conversion of this important Scheduled Ancient Monument to provide 28 luxury loft-style apartments.
The building, dating from 1804, is located in the historic Gunwharf Quays site in Portsmouth which now forms part of a mixed-use regeneration scheme comprising retail, restaurants and housing, and the landmark Spinnaker Tower viewing platform. The Vulcan Building had been previously used by the Royal Navy for storage of munitions and presented itself as a loft style warehouse with a massive timber floor and roof structure within a brick shell.
We were commissioned as architects to prepare designs and working drawings for converting the building and completed a full working drawings package for Building Regulation approval. We visited site regularly to inspect the progress of the works and attend meetings with English Heritage and the conservation officer.
A number of particularly interesting technical issues were investigated and resolved including one of the first uses of sprinklers in a residential building. We also paid particular attention to acoustic attenuation between flats on different floors and designed around the particular concerns of deflecting timber floors, means of escape in a fire, the introduction of new lifts and improving the thermal insulation of the roof structure.
The area in which the completed scheme sits is now a popular tourist attraction bringing visitors to the waterfront views and retail outlets.