London & South East

A Facelift for Cambridge Youth Hostel

An extensive refurbishment to Cambridge Youth Hostel has been completed.

The project, which took just over six months to complete, has seen the Youth Hostel Association Ltd facility updated and remodelled in a bid to provide a fresh, modern environment for visitors.

Premier Construction caught up with Nick Berry, the Development Manager at YHA, who has overseen the scheme. He said:

The refurbishment project was undertaken as the hostel’s facilities had expired and needed to be made fit for 21st century purposes. We had looked at various refurbishment options and in the end decided to carry out a full design and refurbishment process to remodel the operation.

There used to be 23 bedrooms pre-renovation and now there are 27; so bed numbers have increased by 14. We have also added more en suite facilities, bathrooms and toilets, as well as constructing a brand new DDA bedroom on the ground floor level which we did not have previously.”

Harrison Ince acted as the project architects and Pentaco Construction were the main contractors during the scheme. Externally the team replaced all the roof coverings and the windows on the modern parts of the building. A full external decoration was also undertaken during the development.

Works also included re-rendering the newest part of the building, as well as repositioning and remodelling the hostel’s entrance. New external signage has been installed as has a new courtyard to the rear of the property.

Internally the ground floor was completely reconfigured which opened up the space and allowed the YHA to introduce a combined reception and bar area; complete with a dining room and breakout space, with coffee table facilities and a large social space.

The self catering kitchen has been repositioned and the lounge has been given a new lease of life; it is now full of modern sofas, chairs and lighting, as well as boasting a state of the art Audio Visual system and Wi-Fi.

Nick added:

Another reason for remodelling the ground floor was to create an environment which could be utilised by the general public. The space now welcomes everyone, not just those staying overnight, and provides dining facilities for anyone who may want to use them.”

Cambridge Youth Hostel had to shut down for the duration of the project as the building was completely gutted out and all services had to be renewed, meaning the hostel could not remain operational.

Nick said he feels the project has gone very well:

We have achieved everything we set out to do; we have met our initial aspirations with regards to the layout, the quality of the fit out, the operational requirements, as well as the overall look and the feel of the venue.

It has been great to see such a transformation in a building that was tired and needed updating; the feedback I have had has been great and the scheme has been very satisfying, running smoothly with no real difficulties.

We wanted the end product to retain reference to its location, Cambridge, so we have included links to rowing and boating, associated educational links, as well as making sure the design refers to the wealth of cyclists we have here in the city.”



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