This award-winning project re-purposes and re-imagines a derelict building, converting the former retail landmark Rapid Hardware into three new and distinct uses: brunch hotspot Hardware Coffee + Kitchen, speakeasy bar Little Hardware, and four luxury serviced apartments.
Retaining key heritage features, such as exposed brickwork and large rooflights which flood the café with natural light, the building's legacy is celebrated and the 'hardware' theme remains ever-present throughout, referenced in the internal décor and branding.
The project saw full conversion and renovation of the derelict site to upgrade the structure and thermal elements. Undertaking the full redesign and specification, we also obtained planning consent for the change of use and addition of a new rear dormer to accommodate a fourth apartment.
The café area has been split over two levels to create a high-ceilinged, airy entry space, with a cosy and rustic ambience to the upper seating area. Meanwhile, the damp-ridden basement has been transformed into an intimate speakeasy with a full commercial ventilation system.
The upper storeys saw a change of use into bright and spacious apartments, which have been internally insulated to create warm, sustainable living spaces and reduce reliance on mains energy.
Externally, the brickwork has been fully restored and contrasted with contemporary slimline aluminium glazing and vertical black tiles, creating a striking addition to the street scene and contributing to the wider regeneration of a neglected part of the city. The project received the Merseyside Civic Design Award in 2023.
AJF Structural Engineering
Quadrant Approved Inspectors