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Conversion of offices to homeless shelter and hub

Client: Oxford City Council

Project: Floyd’s Row

Department: Major Projects

Date of completion: Summer 2020

Budget: £3m


The client needed a fit for purpose building to trial and adopt a new strategy to tackle homelessness. The building needed to provide office space as well as safe living space. The original building was a two and single storey 1930’s structure situated in the city centre of Oxford. Existing stone walls, clay tile roof with steel trusses and concrete floors, it also has a rear car park and vehicle access around three sides of the building. The building had been used for many years as a job centre and had specialist fitted counters and furniture.


ODS has been working extensively with the client and has established a good relationship and a system that works. This was particularly true given the fluidity of the project. Also, ODS’ values reflect the clients, bringing partners, like RAW, into the project that will maximise social and environmental benefit.


The project consisted of a complete strip out of an existing two storey office block, with full replacement of mechanical and electrical including new plant room and air conditioning. Once part of the building was ready and handed over, it became operational.  The discovery of asbestos and the global pandemic presented additional restrictions on works.


The vaulted ceiling to phase 1 of Floyd’s row has been removed and a new vaulted ceiling formed retaining the large borrowed roof light. New rooms have been formed with new fire routes and protected areas.