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Planning permissions include two schemes on 2012 Olympics site

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Words:
Will Jennings

Student housing by Henley Halebrown and a masterplan for Pudding Mill Lane have both been approved by the London Legacy Development Corporation

Two more pieces of the post-2012 Olympic plans for east London fall into place with Gort Scott and Henley Halebrown schemes, while on the other side of the capital SPPARC tweaks a previous planning consent to convert a former multistorey car park into a school.

Two department stores have exciting new futures: in Canterbury, Child Graddon Lewis carves new public routes through a densely packed site of connected buildings, while in Hull, FaulknerBrowns creates a major new city-centre development around a public park.

Closing this month’s roundup off is another major park project by landscape architect Grant Associates for a new residential district at the edge of Bristol.

 

  • Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan.
    Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan. Credit: Gort Scott
  • Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan.
    Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan. Credit: Gort Scott
  • Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan.
    Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan. Credit: Gort Scott
  • Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan.
    Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan. Credit: Gort Scott
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Pudding Mill Lane’s masterplan

Total site area 169,000m2
Client London Legacy Development Corporation
Architect Gort Scott with 5th Studio & ZCD
Landscape architect Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects
Planning authority London Legacy Development Corporation
Planning ref 21/00574/OUT

As we enter the final two years of the London Legacy Development Corporation before it returns planning powers and functions to the London boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, the final pieces of the post-2012 Olympics masterplan are falling into place.

This scheme is led by Gort Scott, which collaborated with 5th Studio on masterplanning, JCLA for landscaping, and ZCD on public consultation and engagement. Its planned completion in 2033 is set to deliver 948 homes (45 per cent affordable and 30 per cent low-cost rental) as well as employment space totalling 52,000m2 covering retail, workspace, community and leisure uses.

The masterplan is based on a ‘sense of place and street grain’ in tandem with a soft landscape narrative approach picking up on specific species and habitats appropriate to a post-industrial ecology. A central ‘spine’ acts as the main route through the site, connecting to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and forming a new local centre, while a Neighbourhood Way runs perpendicular as a walking and cycling route, connecting social infrastructure including a nursery, health centre, and gym.

The housing is divided into two residential neighbourhoods: Bow Back Riverside, designed as blocks around three courtyards; and City Mill Riverside, where stand-alone buildings will sit around a riverside park. It is a riparian site, sitting against the Bow Back River and City Mill River, feeding from the River Lea and Waterworks River. Torrential rain flooded Pudding Mill Lane DLR station during severe storms last summer, though the flood risk assessment states the site has a low or very low risk of flooding, and an extensive SuDS network will integrate with the soft landscape approach.

 

  • Fish Island factory site.
    Fish Island factory site. Credit: Blackpoint Design
  • Fish Island factory site.
    Fish Island factory site. Credit: Blackpoint Design
  • Fish Island factory site.
    Fish Island factory site. Credit: Blackpoint Design
  • Fish Island factory site.
    Fish Island factory site. Credit: Blackpoint Design
  • Fish Island factory site.
    Fish Island factory site. Credit: Blackpoint Design
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Cultural student living on Fish Island

Total site area 3,400m2
Client London Legacy Development Corporation
Architect Henley Halebrown
Landscape architect Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects
Planning authority London Legacy Development Corporation
Planning ref 22/00267/FUL

Just a short paddle up the River Lea is Fish Island, to the west of the Olympic Stadium and connecting to the Queen Elizabeth Park with a Sheppard Robson-designed footbridge. Right at the bridgehead is Henley Halebrown’s Piano Factory site, centred between a huge range of recent and ongoing regeneration projects with a post-Olympic development many have criticised, not least because, since the 1980s, the island had been a hugely important space for creatives, emerging cultural practitioners and for its affordable studio space.

That cultural heritage has perhaps hastened the rapid redevelopment in a familiar process – in 2016 the Daily Telegraph dubbed Fish Island ‘the new Shoreditch’. This £75 million scheme absorbs some of that cultural history, partnering with the University of the Arts London (UAL) which will take half of the commercial space for use as workshops, studios and incubator spaces for graduate start-ups. The project will also provide 204 beds for UAL student accommodation, of which a minimum 35 per cent is set to be designated affordable. 

The Stour Trust, a community interest company working for local commercial, artistic and industrial enterprises, will occupy a separate block.

Henley Halebrown makes use of the site’s prominence in relation to the footbridge, cutting a triangle of public space and continuing the ground treatment across the road to join onto the descending zig-zag ramp from the bridge. A historic stock-brick chimney, once part of the John Broadwood & Sons piano factory built between 1902 and 1932, offers a focus to those entering the site.

Neighbouring the chimney is a six-storey gable end of another block, for which the architects drew proportions from Palladio’s Palazzo Porto Breganza, while another architectural set-piece occurs at the junction of Stour and Beachy Roads with a curved brick tower topped by a glazed clerestory. In a subtle architectural nod to the site’s former use, a series of benches integrated into external walls take their profile and proportion from the keyboard lid of an upright piano.

 

  • Hammersmith Olympia.
    Hammersmith Olympia. Credit: SPPARC
  • Hammersmith Olympia.
    Hammersmith Olympia. Credit: SPPARC
  • Hammersmith Olympia.
    Hammersmith Olympia. Credit: SPPARC
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Creative education in Hammersmith Olympia

Total gross internal area 19,655m2
Client Olympus Property Holding, Yoo Capital & Astarte Capital Partners
Architect SPPARC
Planning authority London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Planning ref 2021/04167/FUL
Listed building ref 2021/04168/LBC

In 2019, the masterplan of the Olympic Exhibition Centre project gained planning and listed building consents. It included the transformation of a listed 1937 multistorey car park into a hotel with cinema and offices. Over the last few years, property demands have changed and the masterplan has evolved. This newly successful planning application sees the planned office half of the project now used by private education provider Alpha Plus Group. What had been planned as five cinema auditoriums will now be a gymnasium.

The main architectural approach remains the same, with the car park’s Art Deco curved facade retained – reclad and reglazed between ground and fourth levels, and reconstructed as previously approved. The remainder, as previously permitted, will be demolished and replaced by a new construction referencing and weaving onto the existing.

Alpha Plus Group – which runs 17 private schools predominantly in London, but also in Manchester, Tonbridge, Coventry and New York – will luxuriate in educational facilities which didn’t require a great deviation from the originally approved open-plan office scheme. Each floor will be divided into teaching spaces, with a large dining space on the fifth floor with an external terrace. What was to be a conference auditorium at ground and basement level will now become a theatre for the school.

That state-of-the-art performance and theatre space will also be used by The Brit School for vocational training and education through its Brit Kids Saturday School programme.

SPPARC principal Trevor Morris described the Olympia Centre as ‘a cultural hub and exhibition centre for creatives’, adding ‘we want to encourage young people with a passion for the performing arts to be involved in its regeneration; to contribute to its diverse community and to share ideas in the same way that the Olympia Exhibition Centre has promoted for over a century’.

 

  • Albion Square.
    Albion Square. Credit: Faulkner Browns
  • Albion Square.
    Albion Square. Credit: Faulkner Browns
  • Albion Square.
    Albion Square. Credit: Faulkner Browns
  • Albion Square.
    Albion Square. Credit: Faulkner Browns
  • Albion Square.
    Albion Square. Credit: Faulkner Browns
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Albion Square and Alan Boyson’s murals

Gross internal floor area 43,000m2
Client Vinci
Architect FaulknerBrowns Architects
Landscape architect Gillespies
Planning authority Hull City Council
Planning ref 22/00158/RES

Another scheme that retains heritage within its modernising is this project by FaulknerBrowns for a key central Hull site. Encompassing the former BHS department store and adjacent surface car park, the architects’ scheme for the cleared site wraps around a new urban park with blocks separated for key pedestrian connections through the site. The park will offer a variety of day and night-time benefits, including a community pavilion, planting and lawns, and a bridge over a new pond which fills half the space.

Surrounding blocks will contain mixed uses, providing 226 homes with work and retail spaces. The openings and gateways between these will offer glimpses of the park beyond in a scheme that, through its spatial arrangement, urban rhythm and materials, seeks to blend into the existing cityscape.

Besides the new park, a second element central to the masterplan and its urban framing is the celebrated Three Ships mural by Alan Boyson. This will be retained in situ and integrated into the new scheme. Historic England designated the 1963 mural as Grade II in 2019, supporting strong community and creative activism to retain the work, which would have been lost under previous plans. FaulknerBrowns’ application followed the listing decision, proudly combining the artwork into its scheme, which it says is designed ‘to ensure that this unique heritage asset remains a focal point in the city’.

The development will also retain two smaller Boyson murals, and while the artist will sadly not be able to see his work set within a revitalised Hull city centre, having died in 2018 in his late 80s, their retention will act not only as a memory to him but also to the community that came together to keep them in place.

 

  • Biggleston Yard’s department store.
    Biggleston Yard’s department store. Credit: Child Graddon Lewis/ Clague
  • Biggleston Yard’s department store.
    Biggleston Yard’s department store. Credit: Child Graddon Lewis/ Clague
  • Biggleston Yard’s department store.
    Biggleston Yard’s department store. Credit: Child Graddon Lewis/Clague
  • Biggleston Yard’s department store.
    Biggleston Yard’s department store. Credit: Child Graddon Lewis/ Clague
  • Biggleston Yard’s department store.
    Biggleston Yard’s department store. Credit: Child Graddon Lewis/ Clague
  • Biggleston Yard’s department store.
    Biggleston Yard’s department store. Credit: Child Graddon Lewis/ Clague
  • Credit: Child Graddon Lewis/ Clague
1234567

Biggleston Yard’s reworked department store

Total site area 3,800m2
Client Setha Group
Architect Child Graddon Lewis with Clague Architects
Planning authority Canterbury City Council
Planning ref CA/20/01679

In Canterbury, another former department store is set to undergo an entirely different approach to redevelopment. Nasons Department Store was created from a wide variety of buildings – including the Forge and the Foundry dating from the mid-19th century – combined into a rambling labyrinth of buildings.

The architects have sought to make sense of this compact site, and reveal some of the heritage assets compacted within it, by carving into it a significant amount of new public realm in order to provide pedestrian routes, retail frontage, and two open courtyards.

The T-shaped pedestrian paths will connect to the city’s High Street through a covered commercial arcade, and the entire path network will be managed as privately owned public space with secured gates opened to the general public at specific hours. When open, the scheme will focus on local artisan food and drink producers around a pedestrian arcade and market hall space. Above them will be 28 serviced apartments and 48 other residential units, with the scheme rising to five floors towards its centre.

Child Graddon Lewis oversaw the original masterplan for the scheme, then followed through with this planning application’s detailed design, collaborating with local practice Clague Architects on some elements of the residential offer.

 

  • Brabazon Park.
    Brabazon Park. Credit: Grant Associates
  • Brabazon Park.
    Brabazon Park. Credit: Grant Associates
12

Brabazon Park

Total area 60,000m2
Client YTL Developments
Landscape architect Grant Associates
Planning authority South Gloucestershire Council
Planning ref P21/08021/RM

The airport upon which the last ever Concorde landing took place is in the process of being transformed into a vast new 144ha neighbourhood on the edge of Bristol in a development of more than 3,600 homes spread with associated educational and social infrastructure and a new railway station connecting to Temple Meads station.

As a central spine to the plans is a new park designed by Grant Associates, which has been working on the landscape strategy for the entire project since 2015. It has now gained permission for a waterside and wetland-focused scheme. In a site larger than Bristol’s city-centre Castle Park, the landscape architect has introduced a wide range of uses, including a mix of areas for children, with woodland and boulder areas.

A lake split by a weir dominates the scheme, with waterside and floating paths that connect to the wider scheme which will develop over the coming years. The lake is not only decorative but integrates with the wider SUDs strategy, with surface water sewers from the wider site draining into it.

The project is designed so pedestrian and cycling paths knit into surrounding residential areas. A Grimshaw-designed multipurpose arena will be housed within what were once Concorde’s hangars, and is on site, falling within the City of Bristol’s planning remit (ref: 19/05500/P).

 

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