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£70m casino plan for Southend

Atkins has released these images of its £70 million casino in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

The brownfield project consists of a mixeduse scheme including a 150-room hotel and 100 residential units.

An internal glazed street connects the landscaped public realm with the building's interior, allowing the continuity of activity outside to flow into, and around, the three levels of dining areas, bars, retail spaces and live entertainment inside.

It is claimed that the casino's design is complementary in terms of scale and massing to the existing late-Victorian Kursaal Casino, which is next to the new scheme, at the eastern end of Southend's 'Golden Mile'.

Project directors Tom Gent and Charlie Kelly were among four Atkins' architects who worked on the scheme.

Gent, a former high-flyer at both Terry Farrell Partners and Foster and Partners, said of the scheme: 'The flanking walls on the two sides of the internal street, which takes the public realm into the heart of the project, are modelled on an exposed rock face that is backlit at night.

'This counteracts the glazing on the front of the project and forms a continuation of active edges across the scheme.' The project, which will be submitted for planning in July 2005, also complements a seafront masterplan by EDAW, commissioned earlier this year.

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