Eastgate House is a fascinating multi-period building with C16th origins and a complex history: it appears in some of Dickens’ books in various guises. The project undertook to restore and develop the building as a cultural, educational and community resource for the whole Rochester area.
External repairs were carried out to the roof, chimneys, windows and walls. Structural repairs to the timber frame allowed two intrusive C20th columns to be removed which limited the use of two of the principal rooms. Internally the fine interiors have been conserved. A new reception area has been provided and dedicated educational and exhibition spaces for display and interpretation. The building was completely reserviced and intrusive existing fittings, wiring and pipework removed. Improvements to fire separation and protected escape routes were also essential for the upper floors to be brought into use.
To enable everyone to access all levels a new lift connecting the ground, first and second floors has been added. This was constructed at ground floor level inside an existing single storey extension, with a new timber-clad tower extending above. Although clearly subordinate to the main building it evokes a long-lost eastern bay, which once existed here. A new staircase between the first and second floors was inserted, in the location of a former stair.’