The site occupies a corner position at the junction of Stockbridge Road and Stoney Lane, where a former petrol station and car showroom have made way for a new mixed use development including a foodstore, a twelve consultant medical practice, four individual shop units, seven residential units and parking for 191 cars.
The new building acts as an appealing counterpoint to the existing parade of shops and flats, and its mixed-use nature adds to the richness of an architectural composition that reinforces the urban pattern. The building has added a distinctive element to the townscape and provided facilities for which there was a demand, thus helping to support a previously declining local centre.
The car park is positioned in a new semi-basement which takes advantage of the slope on the site and also enables cars to be parked discreetly under the new building. The basement is connected to the upper floors by a feature tower which, as well as providing access to the local centre and connecting the district facilities, also acts as a visual marker. Externally the structural grid has been honestly expressed and forms a support to the lightweight roofs over the residential and healthcare.
The ground floor of the site is occupied by a new food store and a new shopping parade, which takes advantage of its southerly aspect with a new terrace fronting to Stoney Lane. The first floor contains storage and office accommodation above the foodstore. Residential units are positioned over the retail parade on the first and mezzanine floors, reinforcing the sense of activity along Stoney Lane in a similar manner to the parade on the opposite side of the Lane. It became apparent during the design phase that there was a requirement for healthcare facilities in Weeke, and after consultation with local medical practices the design was amended to include a new healthcare facility fronting Stockbridge Road.
The materials included a natural palette of local red facing brick, native timber boarding and glazed curtain walling to the retail frontages. Large overhanging eaves to roofs and brise soleil are used on glazed elements, which would otherwise be adversely affected by solar gain. The subtle variation in the facades reflects use and context.