St George’s Mansions: From derelict shell to spectacular apartment complex

Case Studies, General

From the derelict shell of the former St George’s Hospital, Shropshire Homes has created the spectacular St George’s Mansions development, an award-winning complex of more than 100 luxury apartments.

St. George’s was originally built in 1818 as the Staffordshire County Lunatic Asylum to accommodate ‘pauper lunatics’ and has been extended on numerous occasions over the years – add-ons have included a chapel, refectory,  laundry, brewhouse, and a bakery.

The hospital finally closed in 1995 and the building and its surrounding parkland passed through the hands of various speculative purchasers before it was eventually abandoned when its then owners became insolvent in 2010.

During this period the building became derelict, experienced two major fires, suffered much vandalism with many of its original features, including lead and roof tiles, being plundered.

On the brink of collapse, this redundant and heavily vandalised structure now has a new lease of life. The existing structure has been strengthened and restored to create 102 stunning apartments, ranging from small studios to large penthouses. 

Given the scale and complexity of this development the developer worked very closely with building control to ensure that all the appropriate building regulations were adhered to.

This building was fully upgraded to meet current building standards, with underfloor insulation, fully insulated walling system and new, yet traditional, timber sash windows with the added benefit of double glazing. Many of the residents have commented on regarding how economic the apartments are to run.

As you can imagine there were many challenges that arose in this large conversion project, however they were systematically worked through by the project team, including building control.

Waste management was carefully considered at the outset of the project. Large quantities of reclaimed and demolition material have been recycled while the bricks, roof slates and timber beams that were not required  were sold back into the second-hand market.

Concrete and brick rubble crushed on site was reused to form the base for car parking areas and footpaths while reclaimed decorative stonework was  used to create outdoor seating and architectural focal points including the spire from the demolished chapel.

The design of the internal areas, to provide a natural flow throughout the building and utilising the original features and apertures, has also created some fantastic living spaces benefiting from lots of natural light, high ceilings and generous proportions. The sense of grandeur of the external façade continues inside with the creation of some exquisite individual apartments.

The skill and attention to detail is evident in all areas of the development, from the finish around the external windows to the repaired and refurbished stone stairs leading to the main entrance. It is clear that this project has been delivered with passion, driven by an attitude to do things right and overseen with a critical eye.

A project on this scale was always going to be challenging, however the dedicated commitment of the project team, which included a large number of consultants, professionals, contractors, suppliers and site staff, meant the project was completed profitably and on time to match the sales demand.

This was a landmark project for Shropshire Homes and it has been completed with a real sense of pride by all those involved. The finished product is a real credit to all those people and it will now stand, reborn, for many years to come as an iconic building on a gateway access into Stafford.

St George’s Mansions was the winner of the Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion at the LABC Excellence in the West Midlands Awards 2019.

Project team

Shropshire Homes

Building Control

Cannock Chase and Stafford Borough Council

Further guidance

LABC/Cannock Chase &Stafford Borough Councils’ ‘Guide to extending your home’

LABC/Cannock Chase &Stafford Borough Councils’ ‘Guide to renovating your home’

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