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Burrell Foley Fischer passes historic Gloucester screen test

Architect Burrell Foley Fischer has won planning permission for a multiplex cinema, restaurants and car park on a sensitive site in part of the historic core of Gloucester.

The scheme, which the practice won after a competitive interview, will be built in the Blackfriars conservation area of the city between the cathedral and the historic docks.

It needed to respond to a context of a Grade I-listed Medieval priory, the urban grain of the surrounding Roman and Medieval lanes, and other listed buildings, while avoiding any intervisibility with the prison along its western boundary.

The building comprises a nine-screen multiplex and 800-space car park, the latter of which has been incorporated using the 6m level difference across the site. Cars can be parked on the two floor plates below and on a new terrace level.

The cinema's auditoria have been designed as individual buildings to reflect the height and scale of neighbouring development, with permeable routes across the site.

The architects have also respected the context of the Grade I-listed Blackfriars Priory by using 'restrained' high-quality natural stone elevations, and a tree screen on the northern boundary of the site.

The cinema, for developer Arrowcroft, is a major part of the area's development plan, which also includes plans for a department store, 33 shop units, restaurants, cafes, residential flats and a creche.The structural engineer is Adams Kara Taylor.

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