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The Orchard, Hull

The Orchard, Hull, is a joint venture between Together Housing Association and Emmaus Hull. Emmaus communities provide a home and meaningful work for people (companions) who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. The development consists of two separate elements, a residential building and the social enterprise centre.


The residential building provides 32 en-suite bed spaces for the companions, together with open plan communal facilities and staff offices. Typically, companions are provided with their own room, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance. In return, they are required to work a 40-hour week in the community’s social enterprise building and are not eligible to claim unemployment benefit. The social enterprise centre consists of a large workshop where companions, staff and volunteers work together to restore donated furniture before displaying the furniture onsite for direct sale to the public. This gives companions the chance to learn new skills whilst generating a sustainable source of income for Emmaus UK.


Funding for the project has been provided by the Homes and Communities Agency, Together Housing Group and grants obtained by Emmaus Hull. Strict budgetary constraints have resulted in a simple but well detailed design aesthetic. Whilst the residential element is traditional brick construction, it has been designed to achieve a BREEAM Very Good Rating. A portal frame with metal cladding provides a truly flexible space to the enterprise unit allowing a fluid division between restoration and retail areas.

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