Scala Yard

Contemporary living within historic context

4 townhouses and 1 apartment with adjacent restaurant restoration
Homes, Re-use
4 townhouses and 1 apartment with adjacent restaurant restoration
Homes, Re-use
Fossgate Developments Ltd
Architecture, Interior Design, Conservation

01 Context

Scala Yard occupies a site with deep historical layers, nestled within the York Historic Core Conservation Area.

Originally part of the rear service areas for the early 20th-century Electric Cinema, the area was underused and dilapidated until its transformation into a vibrant residential street, respecting its rich past whilst serving contemporary needs.

02 Commitment to project delivery

The new build dwellings are formed within the curtilage of the historic cinema amongst the densely occupied Fossgate street in York. The enclosed nature of the site showcased the value of a Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) / Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) approach. Due to limited on-site space, there was little opportunity for storage of traditional materials that represented the majority of the surrounding vernacular. In response to these challenges, a light gauge steel frame and pre-assembled panels were used, allowing the pre-constructed elements to be craned on to site individually. The steel frame was designed using BIM with the elements being delivered in pre-constructed floor and wall cassette modules to be stitched together on site, enabling quick assembly.


The combination of these methods allowed for traditional materials to be used in a contemporary way, celebrated through use of white brickwork, zinc cladding and intelligent siting of oversized windows to increase daylight within the homes and control views within the yard area.

03 Adaptive Reuse of the Historic Cinema

Project team


York Design Awards Small Development Winner 2018
Housing Design Awards Build To Rent Winner 2019
Yorkshire Residential Property Awards Small Development Winner 2019
RIBA Yorkshire Awards Shortlisted 2019
Brick Awards Small Housing Commendation 2018
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