High Street, Dorking

 

The Dorking High Street project presented us with a number challenges to overcome within a very tight budget and programme.

The existing building consisted of a High Street shop and basement with two floors of offices above. The original building had been extended and changed numerous times, with little care and consideration to how the changes manifested themselves, leading to convoluted layouts and ad hoc services provision.

Our brief was to turn the office spaces into apartments and to refurbish the shop spaces. Our strategy was to quickly gain a good working knowledge of the building through undertaking a detailed measured survey to establish what was there, what was important and what was not. We were then able to simplify and rationalise the building structure, to find space where it was previously concealed or misused. As a result, we were able to create four excellent apartments, and enhance the commercial shop unit on the ground floor. An elementary palette of robust materials and finishes was utilised to simplify interfaces. Previously convoluted services were unravelled and disencumbered. The redesigned services make access and maintenance much simpler. As a result, the client was also able to make some enhancements to the specification later on in the project.