I’ve been wondering what the insides are like on the Dixon Street flats – never been in behind the doors at the base. Perhaps I’ll try to get in, now that they are moving people out. In the WCC Heritage Archive, there are these plans in a report. The only real drawing there is this one, which gives us the overall picture, but not much of the detail.
So I did a little bit of drawing in my spare time, and from what I can make out from that tiny blurred image, this is what a typical unit plan looks like. I’m guessing that each unit is about 4.8 to 4.9m wide – let’s call it 5m to be generous and so therefore about 8m long? 40m2 each sound about right? Certainly easy enough to make it into a two or three bedroom 80m2 unit, with little trouble – except of course from the heritage dicks.
And then of course there are the Gordon Wilson Flats – those of the “oh they are so grungy, we must knock then all down so the University can squander more millions!” brigade will know the GWF well. They are, of course, much more architecturally exciting – they are double storey, with the walkway / gallery on every second floor only. width at GWF is 12 ft or 3.65m widen and so about 30m2 downstairs and maybe 36m2 upstairs – so 76m2 all up for a 2 bed maisonette? Sounds good to me.
In the days when housing is in a crisis and people are living in cars or mouldy houses, it seems like it would be a simple solution to me – convert both of them into student housing. Sorted. Done, like a kipper. Bish bash bosh, job’s a good’un.