Brighton and Hove City Council has approved plans to create mixed-use project on the site of the former Amex House on the eastern side of the city. BuckleyGrayYeoman has secured planning consent on behalf of First Base and Patron Capital for a £100m mixed-use project which will revitalise the site.
The 300,000 sq ft project, known as ‘Edward Street Quarter’, will create a bustling new hub for Brighton, breathing new life into the eastern section of the city by introducing commercial retail uses, set in landscaped green spaces, and 168 new homes. Acting as architect and masterplanner, BuckleyGrayYeoman’s design will see the creation of six new buildings clustered around a public green square, residents’ gardens and reinstated pedestrian routes to create a lively, attractive quarter for Brighton with the energy and character to attract businesses, residents and visitors. Matt Yeoman, Director of BuckleyGrayYeoman commented: “We’re delighted to be working with First Base to bring this fantastic site back into use for the benefit of all in Brighton. We have been asked to create a design that places public realm and community at the very heart of the scheme. Edward Street Quarter will be a truly mixed-use project that will provide new workspace and homes set among new high-quality pedestrianised streets and public squares.”
Daniel May, Head of Design at First Base, said: “Our vision is to revitalise this part of Brighton by introducing a mix of flexible workspaces for Brighton’s burgeoning creative sector as part of a vibrant new neighbourhood, set within new green spaces. The design has been inspired by Brighton’s electric street scene, and the scheme will be in keeping with the unique character of the area.” Designs for the site include 135,000 sq ft of residential space and 162,000sq ft of commercial and retail space, including co-working and flexible office space for small to large companies, with cafes and retail space activating the ground level. Aspirations for the project included the provision of modern, people-focused commercial workspace with large open floorplates, targeted at maturing and expanding businesses who want to remain in the city centre. The project will deliver 168 residential dwellings in a mixture of private and affordable tenures and in studio, one, two and three bedroom unit sizes. Residences will benefit from a communal residents’ garden, as well as beautifully landscaped roof gardens. All of the new flats will have generous open plan living spaces, orientated to take advantage of the best views.
The appearance of each of the new commercial and residential buildings has been carefully considered so that each responds the wider context. An elegant and restrained material palette has been selected with brickwork referencing Brighton’s Victorian architectural heritage, and glazed ceramic detailing and contemporary flourishes of bronze metalwork tying each of the blocks together to create continuity throughout the project. The practice has placed its focus on creating high-quality public space throughout the development, with new pedestrian routes that open up the site and green space to encourage people to visit and stay. At the centre of the site, a new landscaped square will provide a focus for social uses, providing a place to sit in the shade of newly-planted mature trees or for children to play while their parents enjoy a coffee on the outdoor terrace of one of the cafés or restaurants that will face onto the square.
BuckleyGrayYeoman will also reinstate Mighell Street, which once cut across the site, providing a pedestrian route that will run through the centre of the development, increasing pedestrian access into the new quarter whilst tying it into the grain and character of the surrounding streets. Sustainable and active travel, such as walking, will be encouraged by the new pedestrian routes, complemented by facilities for cyclists.