It’s been over five years since fire devastatingly ripped through the historic Roundhouse at Gunwharf in Portsmouth, leaving an unimaginable trail of destruction in its wake. With thirty out of fifty flats entirely destroyed and the remaining residences severely damaged by smoke and water, the situation was dire. This blog is dedicated to the significant fire restoration work that has been accomplished, a testament to the resilience and strength of the Portsmouth community.

The Tragedy Unveiled: A Deeper Look at the Roundhouse Blaze

The calamity that struck the Roundhouse at Gunwharf in Portsmouth was indeed a sight to behold. Our beloved historical building, home to fifty residences, was suddenly engulfed by an unforgiving blaze. The ordeal left thirty out of the fifty flats in the Roundhouse completely destroyed. The remaining flats were in no better state, suffering extensively from smoke and water damage, leading to an urgent evacuation of all residents. The immediate aftermath of the fire left the building teetering on the brink of ruin, the situation pointing toward the necessity of a major project.

For a more comprehensive understanding of the incident, we recommend viewing ITV’s poignant coverage of the disaster: Fire at Block of Flats, Meridian. The visuals provided in this article depict the profound level of devastation suffered by the Roundhouse, emphasising the pressing need for a swift and efficient response.

The images are both haunting and heart-wrenching, showing a building that was once a vibrant hub of Portsmouth life reduced to charred ruins. They expose the harsh reality of the fire’s aftermath: charred walls, shattered windows, and remnants of personal belongings hinting at the lives disrupted in an instant. It was a sight that deeply affected the close-knit Portsmouth community, underlining the desperate call for an immediate and comprehensive restoration.

Amidst the chaos and desolation, however, there were glimpses of hope and resilience. The fortitude of the displaced residents, and their resolve to return and rebuild their lives, instilled a sense of purpose in the hearts of everyone involved in the restoration project.

This tragic chapter in the Roundhouse’s history serves as a stark reminder of the destructive force of fire and the urgent need for preparedness and safety. The process of fire restoration in Portsmouth that followed, however, also stands as a testament to the resilience, strength, and unity of the community – proof that from the ashes, we can indeed rise stronger than before.

A Phoenix Rising From the Ashes: Rapid Response and Resilience in Restoration

When disaster strikes, the measure of a community’s strength lies not just in its ability to endure, but also in its power to recover. Just as the phoenix rises reborn from the ashes, so too did the Roundhouse at Gunwharf, thanks to the dedication of Pure Construction and Brymor Construction. This embodiment of resilience in the face of adversity marked the commencement of the process of fire restoration in Portsmouth.

Upon being alerted to the catastrophic situation, Pure Construction, in collaboration with Brymor Construction, sprang into immediate action. Understanding the emotional toll of displacement on the residents, the teams worked tirelessly to undertake an assessment and initiate the first critical steps towards restoration.

Beginning with a series of thorough safety tests, they ensured the building’s structural integrity was not compromised. This crucial step helped alleviate concerns about further danger and laid a firm foundation for the ensuing restoration work.

Their swift, organised, and efficient response allowed for an almost unthinkable achievement: in under 12 days, they were able to return a sense of normality to the lives of 43 out of 50 displaced residents. Their homes were made safe, habitable, and welcoming once more, a ray of hope in the dark aftermath of the disaster.

This early success marked a significant milestone in the restoration process. It was not just about providing shelter; it was about reinstating a sense of community, home, and security to those who had been impacted by the fire. The urgency and efficiency demonstrated by Pure Construction and Brymor Construction in these early days set the stage for the extensive restoration efforts that followed.

This chapter of the Roundhouse’s story, marked by a rapid response and resilience, is a shining example of community spirit. It underlines the importance of swift action, expert knowledge, and dedicated teamwork in the process of fire restoration, all of which played a crucial role in helping the phoenix – the Roundhouse – rise from the ashes.

The Continual Journey of Restoration in Portsmouth: Rebuilding Homes, Reviving Hope

The path to restoration following such extensive damage is neither straightforward nor swift. It requires a well-thought-out strategy, a team of skilled professionals, and a determination to restore not just the physical structure, but also the spirit and the livelihoods of the affected residents. The process of fire restoration, undertaken by Pure Construction and Brymor Construction, exemplifies this mission in every step of the journey.

One of the most challenging tasks faced was the complete rebuild of a flat. This involved a painstaking effort to recreate a space from the ground up while ensuring that the newly constructed flat was both safe and comforting for its future residents. Every brick laid, every wall painted, every fixture installed was a step towards giving a displaced resident their home back.

For the other eleven flats, extensive restoration work was required. This commenced with specialist injection drying, a crucial process to remove moisture and prevent mould growth in the wake of water damage. Simultaneously, structural concrete repairs were carried out to ensure the building’s integrity and safety.

Once the foundational elements were secure, the team undertook the comprehensive electrical and mechanical repairs necessary to bring the functionality of the flats back to modern living standards. These crucial services underpin every activity in a home, from lighting to heating, from cooking to entertainment, hence, their restoration was pivotal in making the flats liveable again.

Meanwhile, their expert decorators began the transformative process of beautifying the interiors. They painted, installed flooring, partitioned rooms and plastered walls, meticulously working to convert the stark, damaged spaces into warm, inviting homes.

Central to the liveability of any residence are its kitchen and bathroom facilities. From crafting modern, efficient kitchens to installing sleek, functional bathrooms, the team ensured these integral spaces were not only aesthetically pleasing but also ready to meet the demands of everyday life.

But the restoration work was not confined to the building’s interiors. The exteriors were carefully reconstructed, including the application of external cladding, Sto Render, and the erection of scaffolding to support the work. Balconies, a key architectural feature of the Roundhouse, were painstakingly removed and reinstated, preserving the building’s unique charm while enhancing its safety.

The final touches in this complex process of restoration in Portsmouth included the installation of high-quality Schuco doors and frames, along with the replacement of fire doors. These steps not only enhanced the overall look and feel of the residences but, crucially, also ensured that the building was equipped to deal with any potential future emergencies effectively.

The journey of restoration, while arduous, was fuelled by a deep-seated commitment to revive the Roundhouse and restore normalcy for its residents. It was a journey filled with determination, hard work, and, most importantly, a shared sense of purpose to rebuild a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community.

Fire restoration Project in Portsmouth

Fire restoration in Portsmouth


A Testament to Dedication and Skill

The aftermath of the fire brought to light the incredible dedication and skill of the teams involved in the restoration. It wasn’t just about rebuilding a structure; it was about restoring a piece of Portsmouth’s heart. The Roundhouse, with its rich history and significance, deserved nothing but the best efforts, and that’s precisely what it received.

Pure Construction and Brymor Construction didn’t just approach this as another project. They understood the emotional and historical weight the Roundhouse carried for the community. Their meticulous attention to detail, combined with a deep respect for the original architecture, ensured that the restoration was both authentic and modern.

Community at the Heart of Restoration

The outpouring of support from the Portsmouth community was overwhelming. From local businesses offering aid to residents sharing their cherished memories of the Roundhouse, it was evident that this was more than just a building. It was a symbol of unity, history, and shared experiences.

The journey of restoration also highlighted the importance of collaboration. It was a combined effort, with experts from various fields coming together to breathe life back into the Roundhouse. The result is not just a testament to architectural prowess but also to the spirit of Portsmouth – resilient, proud, and forward-looking.

As we move ahead, let’s remember the lessons learned from this experience. Challenges may come our way, but with determination, skill, and community support, we can overcome anything. The Roundhouse’s revival is a shining example of that indomitable spirit.

Looking to the Future

The fire at the Roundhouse in Gunwharf marked a tragic day for the Portsmouth community. However, the remarkable response by Pure Construction and Brymor Construction, and their ongoing dedication to construction in Portsmouth, demonstrates an inspirational spirit of resilience.

The restoration of the Roundhouse stands as a symbol of hope, a beacon reminding us of the power of community and the possibilities of starting anew. As we reflect on the year that has passed, let’s also look forward to a brighter future, one where the Roundhouse stands stronger than ever, thanks to the unyielding efforts in fire restoration in Portsmouth.

This blog post was crafted to demonstrate the importance and process of restoration. Fire damage can be devastating, but with the right team and the right approach, we can always rise from the ashes.


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