Ainsley Gommon Architects


Wirral Ark


Birkenhead, Wirral



Date Completed

Summer 2023

Development Overview

This project involves the conversion of an existing communal space into two en-suite emergency accommodation rooms. The project utilises an existing W/C and a shower room as well as proposing a new shower room with kitchenette areas for each living space. The proposals sit within an existing supported accommodation building so will connect to the security systems already in place.

Based close to Hamilton Square in Birkenhead, Mary Cole House is a supported living hostel with 27 en-suite rooms. A space that was designed to be a ‘controlled drinking environment’ is currently used for emergency accommodation however it is not appropriate for the needs of the client and their residents. The current system has up to three or four people living within a space that was not designed to be used as residential accommodation. The new proposals will make it a safer, better controlled environment.

Wirral Ark is a local charity that has been tackling homelessness within the Wirral for 30 years. The new improvements to the existing Mary Cole House building will allow for the charity to have an even greater impact on the community and provide a high standard of emergency housing to the residents.

Engagement with Wirral Ark and the residents has been an important aspect of the design process. The proposed materials schedule and colour palette was shared by Wirral Ark with the residents to keep them informed and allow them to have control over the desired colour and finish of the spaces.