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#BRISTAN BULLETIN: FROM DISUSED TO DES RES

11th April 2019

Overlooking Westbrook Bay, the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital is an iconic building which has stood on the northern coastline of Kent since 1791. Constituting one of the world’s oldest
orthopaedic hospitals, the facility specialised in the treatment of tuberculosis until the turn of the 20th century when it became a general orthopaedic hospital, before being closed indefinitely in the 1990s.
That was until the historic hospital was brought back to life and went from disused to ‘des res’ as part of a multimillion pound project to turn the prestigious building into a luxury apartment complex. Under the expert guidance of the Harriss Group, the building has now been renovated into 78 elegant and stylish apartments, providing some of the most stylish living accommodation in Margate.



The journey to achieving this, however, was a long one. As very much a regional treasure, it was vital that the building was sympathetically renovated so as not to detract from its inherent elegance and classical features while also bringing it bang up to date for the modern consumer. Also, in targeting the top end of the market, it was integral that all elements of the specification for the apartments created a luxury finish to appeal to the more discerning buyer.

As such, it was vital for the Harriss Group to work with specialist suppliers with the products and know-how to fulfil the brief. With the bathroom being a key selling point for any property, second only to the kitchen, it was especially important for the developers to choose bathroom product suppliers who could provide beautiful, luxury products which would also deliver a superior bathing experience. And given that the bathrooms and en-suite facilities for each apartment used clean and contemporary white sanitaryware, the chosen taps and shower fittings also needed to inject personality and add a real wow factor.

After searching the market for different types of showers, the team’s specifiers promptly opted for Bristan’s Carre shower. The initial draw was the shower’s unique styling; with a surface mounted rigid riser and drench shower head inspired by more traditional fixtures, and the addition of an integral diverter handset adding modernity as well as flexibility for the user. The result, the Harriss Group felt, was a perfect mixture of old and new, just like the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital development itself.

More so, Carre offered numerous functional benefits. As a thermostatic shower, the shower is able to maintain the showering temperature by compensating for changes in the incoming water temperature and pressure to ensure water is always delivered at a safe temperature. Also, it features an automatic shut off in the event of a hot or cold water supply failure, thus reducing the risk of scalding – helping to optimise the safety credentials on the build.
Bristan Carre Shower
Nero Basin Mixer
Next, it was time to consider the choice of taps. As one of the first things to catch a potential buyer’s eye when walking into the bathroom, here the remit was to choose a tap which was striking in design while remaining elegant and modern.

Consequently, the specifiers chose chrome basin taps from Bristan’s popular Nero range; combining a simple profile with soft, organic curves, the range epitomises pared-down modern luxury, injecting a new dimension into even the simplest of interior decors. Plus, for the eco-aware consumer, the taps are BMA approved and can be used with a flow regulator to reduce water usage.

Following the completion of the project, the end result was a huge success. Striking in simplicity, both the taps and showers have worked to inject an added dimension and subtle style statement in the otherwise minimalist bathroom design, all without compromising on the classic ethos of the build.

Through its unique capabilities, Bristan was able to deliver a product selection which perfectly captures the ethos of the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital scheme, and met the developer’s requirement not only for great looking fixtures and fittings but all the added advantages of competitive pricing and our easy to fit technology.