Tom Collins House

Constructing Excellence

Tom Collins House (TCH) is a 12 storey Grade II* listed sheltered accommodation building within the Byker Estate and underwent significant renovation and refurbishment of both the internal and externals features. TCH was constructed between 1975-1978 and is Byker Community Trusts (BCT) tallest building. The building is part of the Byker Estate which was constructed to a masterplan created by Ralph Erskine and is unique within the Byker Estate as it is the only building to have both the internals and externals Grade II* listed. Since construction TCH had received minimal investment in its communal and external fabric and required major improvements to benefit the 45 residents and encourage social interaction.

Surveys were undertaken in response the to Hackitt Report and the retrofitting of a sprinkler system to the building undertaken as part of the scheme while addressing additional fire safety improvements, maintenance issues, health and safety measures and the upgrading of communal landlord services.

The Grade II* listing resulted in materials having to be like for like including paint colour and design. Obtaining these materials proved challenging due to the restricted number of suppliers and manufacturers but also the lead in times were in some cases significantly longer. There were also certain features which had to be retained such as the timber paneling to the ceilings within the entrance and communal lounge/kitchen and the bin stores within the corridors. Close coordination between the design team, Newcastle City Council (NCC) and Historic England (HE) resulted in the successful completion of the scheme.