Charters Village, East Grinstead

Client: Retirement Villages Limited

Contractor: Kier Southern

Architect: LCE Architects

Value: £17 million

Thomasons provided structural engineering design services for this award-winning retirement village in East Grinstead.

Charters Towers had been a part of the landscape of East Grinstead for more than 100 years. The 16-acre site was home to the world-famous dance and drama school, the Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts, and its theatre played host to some of the world’s most famous stars, including the legendary Rudolph Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

While parts of the school were retained, some buildings including the theatre were demolished. Nine new residential buildings for independent living were built, ranging from one to three-storeys. The buildings were constructed as load bearing masonry, with precast concrete floors and trussed roofs.

A tree-lined driveway leads to Charters Towers, which was built around 1900 and is a fine example of the Arts & Crafts movement.  It has been converted to provide a main hall, restaurant, multi-function room, conservatory, library, treatment rooms, guest suites and staff accommodation.

The challenging conversion involved partially demolishing the building and adding a reinforced concrete basement to accommodate the laundry room and services, and a new two-storey load bearing masonry construction above, while carefully retaining the historic architectural features of the original building.

Charters Village was named Best Retirement Scheme at the 2014 Housebuilder Awards and won a Silver Award in the Best Retirement Development category at the What House? Awards.

Thomasons also provided structural design services for the second phase of the development, which comprises new residential blocks and apartments. These are due for completion in late 2016.

We are currently assisting Retirement Villages with a potential further development on the site.




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