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Sheppard Robson's Cumbria car park wins the go-ahead

Sheppard Robson has been given the green light for this unusual three-storey car park in Penrith, Cumbria.

The building, which has received a resolution to grant from Eden District Council, will boast a 250m-long undulating facade mirroring the topography of the surrounding Lake District.

Made up from 1,622 wooden 'slices', this facade is an exact, scaled-down replica of a 50km strip of land running between the Cumbrian town and the Irish Sea (AJ 15.06.06).

These timber slats will be pre-assembled on 1,500mm-wide panels using horizontal timber bearers, then directly installed on to the main concrete structure of the car park.

The £6 million scheme has been drawn up for developer Lowther Manelli and forms part of the £80 million regeneration of Penrith's town centre.

Sheppard Robson believes the design 'challenges long-conceived ideas about the form of car parks'.

Tim Evans, Sheppard Robson's creative director, said: 'The modulation of the building is a unique reaction to the conventional blank concrete face of car parks across the UK.

'It serves to separate the form of the building from its function and, as the sun's path crosses the facade creating varying shadow patterns, provides a constantly evolving form to neighbouring residents.'

He added: 'The scale of this development has given us the opportunity to recognise the significance of this building typology and how it can make a valuable contribution to its wider context and surroundings.'

The project is expected to start on site early next year.

by Richard Waite

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