An external image of Samuel Tuke Apartments.

Samuel Tuke Apartments, York


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Private rented / student accommodation
S Harrison Developments Ltd
July 2017
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Preserving heritage in a sustainable new development

We were appointed by Harrison Developments to deliver a new four-storey student accommodation building on Lawrence Street in York. It provides 115 bedrooms in a mix of one, two, three and five bed en-suite apartments and clusters, freeing up traditional housing for local families.

Preserving heritage in a new facility

The site on Lawrence Street in York was home to a former a working men's club that despite being a listed building had been empty for many years and had fallen into significant disrepair. The redevelopment has brought about a long-term economically sustainable new use.

The accommodation has been named after Samuel Tuke, a prominent Quaker and social campaigner and a pioneer in the treatment of mental health, who is commemorated with a blue plaque.

We have worked closely with English Heritage, in conjunction with local architects CSP, to ensure that the existing main building was retained and key features are preserved for generations to come.

Modern student facilities

The project connects the new building to the former Tam O' Shanter public house, and involved works to the former Working Men's Club as well as to the Tam O' Shanter. The sheds and buildings to the rear were demolished but a sensitive programme of works has seen the frontage onto Lawrence Street returned to its original splendour.

Facilities include a cinema, reception, laundry, cycle store and offices, as well as a gym, a games room and a common room. Additional study bedrooms are provided at upper floor level.

Supporting education at all levels

A university student studying Heritage Management spent her work placement researching the history of Tuke House and produced a heritage report as part of her final year studies.

This report was then passed on to a group of History undergraduate students who were taking part in 'children's university' volunteering programme. They produced a workshop for primary school children on the history of Tuke House and heritage construction, which was delivered to Year 5 pupils at St Lawrence Primary School.

The school were so enthused that we did other sessions with them, covering tetrahedron building, construction materials, and a design competition.