Lower Dens, Staybridge Suites, Dundee

Conversion of two grade-A listed former mill buildings into a serviced apartment complex with 85 guestrooms, communal living & dining, gym and laundry facilities. The internal courtyard was also developed to incorporate limited private parking spaces and drop off zones. The conversion elevates the historic buildings to their former glory, matching the historic design aesthetic and bringing the once derelict buildings back to life.

Date

2018

Client

CSAM Limited

Value

£11.4m

Renovation and conversion of the Dens Street Mill and St Roques Mill buildings which form part of the Category A listed former Lower Dens Works into 85-room serviced apartment complex, whilst preserving the industrial heritage and historical significance of the buildings for the enjoyment and understanding of future generations.

The development is the second phase of redevelopment at the listed Lower Dens Works. The Dens Street Mill and St Roques Mill buildings are Category A Listed. Dens Street Mill, Dens Street (1865); and St Roques Mill (1830s, rebuilt internally 1889).

The existing interior of Dens Street and St Roques Mills is fireproof with two rows of cast iron columns carrying cast iron beams, wrought iron ties and brick arches. Fine cast iron gothic roofs on clustered columns. Original stairs cast iron doors etc.

The main entrance to the serviced apartments is located on the ground floor of the Dens Street Mill incorporating support functions and facilities, such as a reception and communal spaces.

The remaining floors of Dens Street Mill and St Roques Mill are made up from a combination of accessible, 1 bed suites and studio suites.

The conversion of the disused mills provided many challenges. Predominantly those relating to the constraints provided by the existing structural layout. The introduction of new stair cores and new lift shafts were necessary to meet current building regulation and brand standard compliance. We were therefore required to carefully design and plan these circulation routes to ensure they could be incorporated within the existing cast iron beam and column arrangements. The retained cast iron columns, whilst providing a unique feature, also provided a challenge when planning guestroom layouts.

The traditional mill buildings were un-insulated therefore a comprehensive upgrade to the building envelope was required in preparation for the HVAC requirements and to satisfy the relevant technical standards (Scotland) regulations. The severely dilapidated roof was completely reconstructed and new velux style roof windows were installed to replace the existing steel patent glazed rooflights and ventilators. The existing stone external walls were repaired where necessary. New replacement new timber windows, screens & doors, were installed in accordance with the adjacent hotel redevelopment.

Internally, the existing stairs and hoists were removed, and new stairs and lifts were introduced in locations required to satisfy the statutory requirements. The existing spiral stair to the Dens Street Mill was retained and refurbished for use as an escape route. Existing features were left exposed, such as existing brick jack arch vaulted ceilings to lower floors and cast iron rafters on the upper most floors, where possible.

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The Challenge

The conversion of the disused old Mill building provided many challenges. Predominantly those relating to the constraints provided by the existing structural layout. The introduction of two new stair cores and two new lift shafts were necessary to meet current building standards and brand standard compliance. The retained cast iron columns, whilst providing a unique feature, also provided a challenge when planning guestroom layouts.

The Solution

The circulation routes were carefully designed and planned in order that they could be incorporated within the existing cast iron beam and column arrangements. The existing columns and features were exposed and incorporated within the guestrooms where possible. Most columns were exposed within the kitchenette’s and ensuite’s, providing a unique feature.

The Outcome

The pragmatic and sympathetic approach to the conversion elevates the grade-A listed buildings to their former glory and matches the historic design aesthetic, whilst adopting many of the mandatory requirements imposed by the hotel brand standards and statutory authorities. The converted buildings now offer a facility that meets the requirements of the modern consumer.

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Locations

Edinburgh

64 Queen Street
Edinburgh
EH2 4NA

0131 464 6100
edinburgh@jmarchitects.net

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50 Bell Street
Glasgow
G1 1LQ

0141 333 3920
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37 Alfred Place
London WC1E 7DP

0207 580 5330
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3A, 54 Princess Street
Manchester
M1 6HS

0161 200 6300
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