Willmott Dixon has been appointed by the London Borough of Camden to modernise two hostels worth a combined £8 million.

The company is already working with Camden to create the UK’s largest Passivhaus residential project and will extend its role for the borough by remodelling and improving two existing hostels to create modern studio accommodation with greatly enhanced communal facilities. Mount Pleasant Hostel in Holborn will be updated through a mix of new-build and refurbishment of the current facility to provide 50 en-suite bedrooms, while Holmes Road Hostel in Kentish Town will be remodelled to provide a further 59 en-suite bedrooms.

The work comes after both hostels were identified in Camden’s Community Investment Programme as being ‘not fit for purpose’, and proposals for their redevelopment were put forward by the award-winning Peter Barber Architects to keep in line with the unique character of their areas.

Mount Pleasant Hostel in the Hatton Garden conservation area is a key contributor to the area’s architectural style and the mix of new-build and refurbishment will ensure the new Studios building is in keeping with its surroundings. It will be set around a courtyard created by the removal of a central link block which formed the centre of the original ‘H’ plan hostel.

The new Holmes Road Studios, reminiscent of Victorian alms houses, will comprise 59 bedrooms, many in individual micro units with mezzanines that surround a central allotment garden that will create a homely, domestic atmosphere.

Tim Carpenter, managing director at Willmott Dixon said, “We’re delighted to be extending our role to provide more housing in Camden, this time to help the needs of homeless people. We have seen the effects of the economic downturn and homelessness remains a major problem in Britain. Here we will be providing safe accommodation for some of the more vulnerable people in our society.”

Camden council cabinet member for housing, Councillor Julian Fulbrook, said: “This is an important step in our plans to transform the accommodation at Mount Pleasant and Holmes Road. Camden are committed to making sure that some of our most vulnerable residents not only have a roof over their heads but that they have somewhere that is safe and comfortable and can get the support services that best meet their needs.”