The Old Dispensary



Total Floor Area

315 SQM

Set within the Millfield – a former naval hospital in Plymouth, the old dispensary was the last large building on site to be converted. The building although not listed is of significant historical interest. During design and construction every effort was made to work with the historic fabric. This includes the original roof structure, which was kept and renovated as part of the roof conversion, rather than be discarded in favour of more efficient modern trusses.

The Old Dispensary was the last empty building on the Millfields Estate. Set over three floor the building was a substantial property set within a listed landscape. Ercle worked closely with the existing building to convert the existing buildings into 13 flats as well as a bungalow with its own private garden.

The success of the conversion was the inhabitation of the roof space into three luxury apartments. The apartments were achieved through the modern zinc dormers that increased head height and provide natural daylight. The cost of the conversion was kept to a minimum by working with the existing roof structure, which allowed for the roof to stay in situ throughout the construction.

The Millfields is home to the famous saying ‘up a creek without a paddle’. When the naval hospital was in use, injured sailors were rowed up the creek to a jetty just behind The Old Dispensary.

If they were rowed up the creek without a paddle, they were significantly injured. In the early 1800’s when the hospital was at its peak use, patients who were seriously injured rarely recovered.

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