On Tuesday 31 January, St. John’s Foundation welcomed their Patron, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, to officially open the newly modernised Rosenberg House.
Since The Duchess’ last visit to St John’s in 2010, Rosenberg House has been transformed by Stride Treglown from an outdated 1970’s building into a state-of-the-art almshouse, with 15 spacious and contemporary apartments.
Built in 1974 – with an early Georgian east wing incorporated into the building – it was identified for refurbishment to help improve accommodation and support residents to live as independently as possible through providing state-of-the-art facilities. Rosenberg House is a grade II listed building and is a fantastic example of a modern almshouse.
The Duchess was taken on a tour of Rosenberg House, and visited some of the residents in their homes. Betty Carlson, originally from Melbourne, and has lived at St John’s for nine years, welcomed the Duchess into her apartment, and after giving a tour and enjoying a chat about their love of horses, said that;
It was wonderful. She was very relaxed and pleasant
After a cup of tea with residents, staff and Trustees in the new Rosenberg communal lounge, The Duchess joined a reception in Chapel Court.
For the first time, the Royal Patron was able to explore The Bubble, and meet staff, volunteers and other charities that St. John’s Foundation supports through their funding programme – including members of the Action Against Child Poverty Coalition.
The Royal visit to St John’s concluded with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, which coincidentally unveiled the foundation’s new name – St John’s Foundation Est. 1174.
Sue Porto, Chief Executive of St John’s Foundation, said:
The refurbishment of Rosenberg House reaffirms our charitable commitment to helping people to enjoy an excellent quality of life by supporting them to live as independently as possible. We are proud to welcome our Royal Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to officially open our latest modern almshouse and invite her into the homes of some of the residents who live there.
The design is a real credit to Stride Treglown and looks absolutely stunning. Thank you for all you wonderful work and support.
The challenging refurbishment included extensive structural modification including the insertion of a new internal atrium into the existing structure and the relocation and expansion of the lift and stair core to connect all levels. The exterior has been largely retained with double-glazing and new roofs with photovoltaics to some areas introduced to increase energy efficiency. A new entrance ramp improves accessibility for residents and visitors.
Cora Kwiatkowski, Divisional Director for Stride Treglown, said:
We are very proud to be involved in this project for this fantastic charity. The extensive refurbishment has been a challenge but the interior of this building, which was so dated is now unrecognisable. Residents are able to enjoy not only high quality spacious apartments but also additional facilities within the daylight-flooded atrium which will strengthen the community in Rosenberg House further.