The Le Seelleur Building is coming back to life as three town houses.
Local company T&G Structural Engineers were instrumental in brokering an agreement between the building’s owners, keen to bring the crumbling structure back into use, and planning conservationists determined to preserve as much of the building’s heritage as possible.
Remodelling historic buildings always presents a particular challenge.
“We use the very latest design technology when working on all our projects,” explains T&G technician Jake Cherrington-Hall, “which allows us to create intricate virtual 3D models of the entire building.
“Once rendered, we can use the model to explore and examine any part of the planned construction, from outside or from within. From a design perspective, this lends a tremendously powerful advantage. It means you can fully understand how structural elements come together.
“It’s great for clients too. They can ‘virtually’ walk through their entire building. This adds a whole new perspective to design – people get to see the finished product and potentially make changes before anything is built.”
For existing structures, like the Le Seelleur Building, this 3D technology allowed T&G to create an exact model of the property and demonstrate in detail the planned changes and their impact on the existing structure. Given its age – dating back to 1845 – and many unusual architectural features, the building is listed as ‘Site of Special Interest’, a status that drastically constrains any potential development. Jersey’s Planning Department will rigorously defend this position.
“As structural engineers we are very aware of obligations under Jersey’s planning laws when it comes to historic buildings,” Jake continues, “and as designers, we are passionate about protecting our built heritage. The challenge in the past has been demonstrating this to the Historic Environment Officer.
“For the Le Seelleur Building we created a detailed 3D model of the proposed design and used colour coding to show every change the developer planned to make within and every element of the old building that would remain untouched. After reviewing this, planning permission was granted.”