Continuity House, Bracknell

Client: Flamingo Investment Group

Location: Bracknell, Berkshire

Project: Demolition of an existing office building and new development of 20 apartments with private balconies and parking.

Project Value: circa £2 million

Planning Consultant: Pegasus Group

Transport Engineer: Velocity

Daylighting Engineer: Eight Associates

Status: Planning Permission granted subject to legal agreement

THE SITE

The site was a redundant low-rise office building on the busy London Road, with a hotel to one side and a converted office building on the other. To the rear were private houses.

THE BRIEF

We were asked to produce options including to reuse the existing building, utilise its permitted development rights, and to demolish and build anew. Following a detailed appraisal and viability process, we were briefed to provide a new apartment building to maximise the site’s potential.

THE CHALLENGES

The challenges were many and the form and size of the final design reflected the responses to those challenges. On this busy road, access, parking, and the quality of residential amenity were closely scrutinised.

The design had to address the existing daylight and sunlight to the houses and gardens at the rear of our site. The scale of the building had to form a coherent street scene, balanced with good internal ceiling heights and an appropriate mix of apartment sizes.

THE SOLUTION

The challenges had to be viewed as a whole for the design to succeed and the development to be maximised. It was obvious in this location that the residential use should be above ground floor and that a robust elevation should face the road. We maximised the volume by setting back a 3-apartment top storey.

The rear was significantly more complex. We used the detailed sunlight and daylight report to shape the building so as not to interfere with the existing houses’ amenity, and located larger terraces on this elevation to maximise the overall usable space. Through careful consideration of materials the visual mass at the rear was diminished.

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