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Page of consents 17 May

Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Battersea Arts Centre, Portsmouth's D-Day Museum and a house that thinks it's an office: improvement's the name of the game this week

There’s a palpable sense of ‘Don’t Move-Improve!’ to the consents page this time, notably to two schemes. There are significant renovation works being carried out on what’s left of the 19th century, grade II*-listed Battersea Arts Centre, severely damaged in a fire last year; and former FAT partner Sean Griffiths is building on past glories with an even more post-modernly ironic ‘village’ roof extension to his Blue House. By contrast, there’s a far more contextual approach to TaylorHare’s housing in Chatham. And another UK port city – this time Portsmouth on the south coast, extensively bombed during WWII – is looking at a £4million upgrade to its D-Day Museum. Home to the modern-day Bayeaux Tapestry, the Overlord Embroidery, the museum is upgrading in time to mark the 75th anniversary of the landings in 2019.


Client: Collins Design & Build

Architect: Architype

Area: 4,200m2

Planning authority: Herefordshire Council

Planning ref: P152042/O


London and Hereford based Architype has been working in the field of sustainable architecture for over 30 years. Its latest outline permission has been for an 80-apartment Extra Care residential facility in the Herefordshire village of Whitestone; granted following the submission of a highly sustainable Passivhaus design. It hopes to address the dearth of suitable housing for the elderly in the county, offering residents an active, healthy lifestyle as well as high quality homes for life.

The arrangement off one, two and three-bedroom homes is intended to have a communal emphasis, promoting natural surveillance between neighbouring residents, supported by a live-in warden to aid independent living. The Passivhaus design is crucial in maintaining a highly comfortable living environment for residents as well as maximising daylight.

Residents will be able to use the on-site swimming pool and petanque pitch and there’ll be a café, shop, hair salon and an IT room for silver surfers. Landscape design responds to the existing site – with 10 allotments for those who want to get their hands dirty. Car parking is a near as possible to the homes and seems as cossetted in the landscape as the actual residents.



Client: Mont Blanc Developments

Architect: TaylorHare

Area: 1915m2

Authority: Medway Borough Council

Planning Ref: MC/15/1131


On a site by Redvers School in Chatham, Kent, TaylorHare has received planning permission for a new build residential scheme in the centre of the town, made up of eight town houses of two and three-bed and 18 one and two-bed flats. The site drops away rapidly from north to south, is adjacent to the brick-built Phoenix Academy School and looks out on three sides to existing terraced housing – which accounts for the architects’ understated palette of materials, intended to blend harmoniously into the surrounding context.

The design adopts this common palette while bringing its own flourishes to the street scene. Hence the top section of the apartment blocks defined by oversize dormer windows rising above the brick facade, breaking the eaves line of the building.

Roofs and parapets are in profiled zinc, which will patinate over time and complement the variegated brick of the facades. The architects considered the ratio of the windows to brickwork to ensure that there was a balance of materials – neither too defensively solid nor excessively glassy; an architectural Via Media.



Client: Sean Griffiths

Architect: Modern Architect

Area: 100m2

Authority: London Borough of Hackney

Planning Ref: PA/15/00149


Modern architect Sean Griffiths has managed to charm the socks off the London Borough of Hackney again with his proposal for extending FAT’s iconic ‘Blue House’ (and his home) in East London, completed in 2002. The new ‘village-like’ roof extension on the ‘office block’ above the diagrammatic embodiment of the notion of the home is a post modern play on the language of form once again; this not technically a ‘home’ element, but a new rooftop office; while the current ‘office’ space is now incorporated into the existing residential component. Confused yet?

Griffiths says the design of the roof extension is conceived as a series of interconnected shed forms whose height and arrangement are determined to minimise overshadowing and overlooking of the surrounding buildings in the urban grain of the street. The addition extrapolates FAT’s own post modern language, and makes use of the archetypal pitched roof forms and undulating skylines. It will be clad in timber grained cement fibre-board, matching that of the original to create yet another layer open to glorious and playful misreading.



Client: Portsmouth City Council Museum Services

Architect: Hampshire County Architects

Area: Proposed GIA 1620m²

Planning authority: Portsmouth City Council

Planning reference: 16/00276/CS3


Planning consent has been received for Portsmouth’s historic D-Day Museum by Hampshire County Council Architects and Interior Design in collaboration with Studio MB. Plans include new exhibition galleries, an education space, café and new visitor welcome entrance.

The approval follows £4m funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in January 2016 to support the museum, dedicated to interpreting and commemorating the Normandy landings of June 1944, which marked the start of the Allied invasion of north-west Europe.

The museum is due to close in October 2016 and reopen in late 2017 in good time for the D-Day 75 commemorations in June 2019. Plans are for curation of the new museum, we are promised, will be spectacular, re telling the wartime stories from both a historical and personal perspective.



Client: Private client

Architect: Clear Architects

Area: Proposed 372m²

Planning authority: Epping Forest District Council

Planning reference: EPF/2969/15


There are some real picturesque influences here, with a 372m2 new build neoclassical home on green belt land in west Essex being inspired by the 18th century architect Henry Holland and the Capability Brown landscaped gardens that remain on the site – granted permission on a 12:2 vote due to recognition of its ‘exceptional’ architectural merit.

Known locally as Debden Hall, there’s no trace of the original Henry Holland Manor House, which was was destroyed by fire in 1929. A second hall was built elsewhere on the estate but knocked down in the 1960s. With the new neoclassical design by Clear Architects, the owner showed his commitment to bringing the site back, at least in part, to its former glory.

As a condition of the permission, the grade II-listed wrought iron entrance gates to the estate will be restored, as will a sweeping tree-lined drive leading up to the property, with some of the estate being opened to the public as a nature reserve, part of which includes what’s thought to be an old ice house. Landscape architect Aralia Design’s proposal will reintroduce a variety of historic planting to the site, with details inspired by Brown himself, who celebrates his 300th anniversary this year.



Client: Battersea Arts Centre

Architect: Haworth Tompkins

Area: 1754m²

Planning authority: London Borough of Wandsworth

Planning reference: 2016/1349, 2016/1350, 2016/1359, 2016/1360


Battersea Arts Centre, devastated by fire just over a year ago, is to get a new lease of life courtesy of Haworth Tompkins sensitive restoration and refurbishment of the grade II*-listed former Arts and Crafts Town Hall designed by Old Bailey architect EW Mountford and opened in 1893.

The client had been engaged with the architect since 2007, when the firm was brought in to make proposals for turning the 19th century building into a contemporary arts facility, to make the building more adapted to modern performance. The original building comprised two parts – the Municipal building and the Grand Hall. It’s the latter that took the brunt of the March 2015 fire, the upper level being largely destroyed and the lower level suffering significant water damage.

As seen in the some of the architect's earlier work, a light touch approach to the restoration has been proposed; with elements of the building that survived the fire being retained and stabilised. New elements replacing the lost fabric will be interpreted in contemporary materials, with over 10,000 bricks being salvaged from the original building and re-used- having undergone a second firing.  



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