5th December 2019

Commonly known as the ‘oscars’ of the UK housebuilding industry, the WhatHouse? Awards is the country’s largest event that celebrates the very best new homes.

Martin’s Properties are delighted to announce that they were awarded Bronze under the Best Mixed-Use Development category.

Martin’s Properties acquired the property in 2016. Originally built in 1855 by the Postmaster General as a landmark building for the Northern District Post Office, it was converted into The Coronet picture theatre in 1911. Post-war, the building was used as a hardware merchant’s warehouse, an antique shop and a furniture store.

Working with Ben Adams Architects, Martin’s Properties completely redeveloped the building to offer contemporary office space over triplex interconnecting floors and a self-contained top floor with a generous roof terrace. In addition to adding an extra floor of office space in the main building, a separate entrance was created to offer 2 floors of SME commercial space and 2 high end apartments over the upper floors. The restored building has a modern twist on its industrial heritage including exposed services and structure behind its striking elevations fronting on to the corner of Essex Road and Packington Street.

WhatHouse? Awards judges noted the development was: “Unusual for this category is the scale of residential development in proportion to the quantum of alternative use.  Although not listed, this development retains the majority of the existing building including the principle facades and expressed structural details. The developer has resisted the urge to convert the industrial buildings into warehouse loft apartments and instead has created 21,400ft2 of commercial workspace for a single occupier. The judges were pleasantly surprised by the quality of contemporary detail and design that responded to the specific constraints of the existing building.”

Richard Bourne, Managing Director Martin’s Properties comments: “I am extremely proud of the team in winning this award. The redevelopment of Old Sorting House is a fantastic example of how historical buildings can be creatively and sympathetically repurposed to provide the very best in modern living. We have been able to create a new chapter of life for this building and make it work for the modern world. The team worked tirelessly on every aspect of the process and I am delighted that this has been acknowledged in achieving the WhatHouse? award