The title of this essay, ‘Shifting spaces’, is used to describe the transformation of an existing building when it is redesigned to accommodate a new use. Shifting is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as a word that is used to depict something that is ‘changing position or direction’.1 The creation of a new programme, such as a hotel, in a space that was built for something entirely different, symbolises a shift away from the building’s previous use. In the OED, shifting is also described as ‘an expedient or ingenious device for effecting purpose, often through evasive or deceitful means’.2 Both descriptions of the word illustrate the underlying themes of this essay. The complex process of creating a space that is new, within a space that is old, is a method of design that involves shifting the qualities and characteristics of the existing building into a new dimension. This change is realised by first analysing the host and then formulating a strategy with which to transform it. The realisation of the new interior through the creation of new spaces, and the design of new elements such as furniture and surfaces could be described as the tactical deployment of expedient devices: the interior elements that are used to facilitate the occupation of these new spaces.