The Thrale Almshouses, built in 1832, provide subsidised housing for elderly single women and widows. However, over time, the buildings fell into a state of disrepair and failed to meet modern standards. In September 2013, planning permission was granted for the refurbishment and extension of the eight existing Almshouses and the addition of nine new-build apartments to provide quality housing for women over 60.
The construction work included stripping out, extending, and refurbishing the eight existing apartments across two residential blocks, which required the removal and reinstatement of pitched roofs. Additionally, two new residential blocks were built with nine individual units, each with access to a private external area through a garden or balcony.
Internal refurbishment works included updating living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen units. External works included the creation of a spacious communal courtyard, linking the individual apartment gardens, and providing a new disabled access entrance to the site. Bike stores, bin stores, and a maintenance shed were also added.
Due to the tight logistics of the project, detailed planning was crucial to ensure the smooth completion of the project. With only one thoroughfare for access to all four blocks, it had to remain open at all times. This meant the program had to be tightly managed to complete the larger new build apartments on time. By carefully coordinating with key sub-contractors, the job was delivered successfully and to a high standard.
The official opening of the Almshouses was well-attended by Labour MP Chuka Umunna, local councillors, residents, and members of the community. During the ceremony, a time capsule that was discovered by builders during the works was reburied in the front garden. The refurbishment and extension of the Thrale Almshouses have provided much-needed quality housing for elderly single women and widows in the community.
Thrale Almhouses Charity
The scheme was shortlisted in the RICS Awards, the Housing Design Awards, the NLA Awards and the London Planning Awards