Nightingale House, Cardiff

Complete refurbishment and internal remodelling of a pair of Victorian town houses to provide a hostel for displaced families.

Nightingale House is a prominent Victorian villa; originally comprising two large semi-detached town houses; on a main route into Cardiff city centre.  The building had been occupied by a care home and its character and design integrity had been compromised by a series of piecemeal extensions and adaptations.

The building contains 22 bedsitting rooms; with compact kitchens and a dining area and en-suite shower rooms together with communal kitchens and meeting rooms.  In many instances an entire family suite was fitted into a single large room of the original house.  The perception of the large Victorian rooms with their tall ceilings (ground floor headroom being about 3.5 metres) was maintained.  By constructing the en-suite shower rooms as ‘cabinets’ with regular modern ceiling heights, the full extent of the original ceilings with their decorative cornices and friezes remained visible and were retained and renovated.