Leading architectural practice, Stephen George + Partners LLP (SGP) has designed and delivered a £15m mixed use local centre that will be at the heart of the 3,300 home residential extension of Didcot Great Western Park, in Oxfordshire.
Comprising an 11,000sq ft Asda anchor and 9,400sq ft of ancillary retail with 20 apartments and engaging public realm, SGP’s local centre will provide high quality facilities and a focus for the local community.
The client, Henry Davidson Developments, was keen to balance commercial aspirations and community aspirations.
Stuart Hancox, director at SGP, explains: “The design centred around providing a first class local centre with first class facilities. We’ve taken on board the views of the local community to create an attractive, inclusive scheme, integrated into its surroundings, which people will want to visit and enjoy. With a strong sense of identity, the development will feed and sustain a growing local economy now and in the future.”
The design took inspiration from the surrounding area, incorporating material elements from vernacular and landmark buildings, whilst retaining a modern feel to reflect the youthful population and the scientific technologies prevalent in local workplaces. The balconied apartments are spacious and offer high levels of natural light via the generous glazing. Traditional red brick signifies the residential entrance, whilst the crisp white render gives a modern feel. Lightly coloured glass balconies enrich the facade and form a vibrant focus and back drop to the newly created public square.
The buildings concept design accommodated a variety of construction methodologies, to provide maximum flexibility for the developer, including the eventual use of a timber frame for the apartment buildings.
The apartment and retail elements form part of a wider SGP Master Plan delivered by Henry Davidson Developments, including a care home, public house, and nursery.