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The Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station on Clifford Street is an exceptional new development of one of York’s most iconic landmarks.

Originally constructed in 1856 as Trinity Methodist Chapel and Sunday School, the building was revered for its striking polychromatic brick exterior, an unusual and conspicuous design for York at that time. After 8 decades in service the Chapel closed in 1935 and subsequently underwent extensive refurbishment to become York Fire Station in 1938.

Following a joint venture between local developers in 2017, we were delighted to provide full architectural services on the regeneration scheme planned for this complex and historic site. The initial proposals included the partial demolition of existing buildings whilst being sympathetic to the historical and architectural merits of the structure. And with a specialism in heritage buildings, we were perfectly placed to secure the future of The Chapel’s iconic frontage for generations to come.

Nestled within York’s Central Conservation Area, this exciting mixed-use development presented us with a complex and challenging proposition. The scheme of 7 stunning town houses, 7 luxury apartments and 2 commercial units had to respond to a triptych of very different frontages whilst delivering an exceptional finish to compliment both the quality and the history of the area. The Fire Station’s prime and unparalleled vantage point boasts spectacular views East towards the city’s iconic Clifford’s Tower (Grade 1 listed and the largest remaining keep of York’s Medieval Castle) and The Castle itself (a Scheduled Ancient Monument). To the West lies the River Ouse, another dramatic backdrop to the development but notorious for breaking its banks and placing the site within Flood Zone 3. With a high risk of flooding to combat, the design proffered solutions including bespoke flood barriers and stormwater attenuation tanks.

The result? A striking new building within the footprint of The Old Fire Station cleverly envelops a cluster of luxury apartments, seamlessly fusing contemporary design within the historic framework. Sympathetically crafted townhouses designed to exacting standards nestle on the first floor of the Old School House and retain character features indicative of the Victorian era, including arched windows and high ceilings. Encapsulating the very best of city centre living, this exceptional scheme, sensitive to the history it preserves, delivers sustainability at the very heart of the project. Innovative solutions including solar panels, heat recovery systems and a highly insulated façade all serve to minimise the carbon footprint of the scheme. Furthermore new residents are encouraged to ‘live green’ in this bike-friendly city, with on-site communal cycle storage and EV points to all parking bays.

Completed in September 2019, we are delighted to announce The Old Fire Station has been shortlisted for the category of ‘Best Mixed-Use Development’ in What House Awards 2020, with the winner being announced in November 2020.




Helmsley Group & London Ebor Developments


Residential, Heritage