Morgans Basement Refurbishment

Architecture 519 Ltd, Leeds, 2017


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Refurbishment of the basement floor office accommodation, providing flexible office space with greater flood resilience.

Christmas 2015 saw unprecedented flooding hit Leeds City Centre. The offices of Morgans City Living found their basement under 1.6m of water. This resulted in the entire basement accommodation needing to be stripped back to its shell, with significant disruption to business operations.

The brief for renovation and replacement required a robust solution that would not only be more resilient to potential future flood damage, but would minimise operational downtime should another flood occur. Nevertheless, the brief emphasised a vibrant and desirable office space that didn’t feel like it had been designed primarily for flood resilience.

The design takes inspiration from a reclaimed honest aesthetic, exposing as much of the existing structure as possible and creating a variety of character areas. An industrial resin floor was laid throughout the entire basement floor, unifying these spaces and providing a resilient finish.

Architecture 519 with a local bespoke installations company specialising in CNC machined timber furniture and finishes. A series of finishes was developed to be demountable,or resistant to damage in the event of flood.
esilient solutions included:

- Demountable CNC-patterned marine ply in place of traditional tiles to bathrooms;

- The use of Medite boards, instead of traditional timber when creating feature wall cladding;

- Demountable feature wall (featuring a CNC-machined Leeds Map) running the full length of the main corridor using laminated marine ply panels that can be demounted and re-used following a clean-up if required;

- Industrial grade resin flooring used throughout instead - meaning the floor need only be dried out and cleaned following any future flood event;

- All electrics brought down from above rather than low level circuits to reduce potential damage;

- Laminated marine grade ply office furniture throughout – both demountable/removable if time permits, and resilient to damage should water get in.


  • Begun: Aug 2016
  • Completed: Jan 2017
  • Floor area: 350m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £250,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jul 2016
  • Procurement: JCT: Design & Build
  • Address: Morgans City Living Ltd, 1 Dock Street, Leeds, LS10 1NB, United Kingdom

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