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Avery Associates, London, United Kingdom 
Wednesday 14 Mar 2012
 
New life for Lymington 
 
Avery Associates Architects 
 
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New mixed-use town quarter with residential, river walk, boat club gallery and restaurant 

The site is 2.96 ha (7.31 acres). It abuts the Lymington Town railway with services to London, Waterloo, and is close to the High Street and historic Town Quay. This is by far the largest redevelopment site in the town and arguably one of the most beautiful sites on the whole of the south coast.

It describes a wide semi-circle fronting the Lymington river and looks out to the New Forest National Park on the opposite bank. The redevelopment of the site has been a fraught local issue since it ceased as an industrial estate. Several plans have been proposed but all met with difficulties. In 2011 the current owners, Redrow, organised a competition for the redevelopment with a brief for 150 flats and houses plus a restaurant, boat club and undercroft parking.

The competition was won by Avery Associates in late April 2011 and following extensive consultations locally, planning permission was granted early in January 2012. Whereas the previous designs had all used a suburban residential model, Avery Associates used a civic model. The plan is aligned North-South to maximise the sunlight and views both down-river to the Isle of Wight and up-river to the reed beds of the river's upper reaches.

The plan has three 'quarters'. The western quarter abuts the town and comprises above-ground two-level car parking covered in a skirt of vegetation akin to the BFI London IMAX. The accommodation here is in the form of 39 town houses, both affordable and for sale, and echoes the contiguity of the railway station and the victorian character of this part of the town. At the southern end of this quarter there is also a new boat club, restaurant and art gallery with views from the gallery cafe down-river to the Isle of Wight. The middle quarter is seen as a pair of generous sweeping terraces in the manner of the Georgian and Regency Terraces of Cheltenham, Bath and Brighton. The terraces widen apart to the south to create a gently sloping traffic-calmed grassed lawn that runs down to the river front like nearby Bucklers Hard.

The aim here is to create a lively waterside frontage which could eventually connect through to the historic quay. The pontoon serves not only the boat club but could give a mooring for resident's tenders and for a ferry service from the quay. The terraces contain 117 flats and are of a warm yellow stock brick. In their form they echo the 'crinkle - crankle' wavy walls characteristic of the town. The eastern quarter by contrast consists of 12 individual villas with white rendered walls and timber port-cocheres, each with a small garden raised above the flood plain to give private views out across the river. The riverbank is protected by Natural England but there is a wide, wild- landscaped zone to form a public promenade around the entire perimeter.

These villas are intended to be absorbed visually into a high-density green landscape to echo the villas in the forest opposite. Construction commencement and sales launch are anticipated in early summer 2012.

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Avery Associates Architects
www.avery-architects.co.uk

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