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CABE and EH unveil 'positive' report on historic new-builds

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Arts minister Baroness Blackstone was set to launch the joint CABE and EH publication Building in Context: New development in Historic Areas today.

The report, written by former Royal Fine Art Commission secretary Francis Golding, examines 15 case studies where new buildings have responded positively to their historic environment.

Golding told the AJ: 'It was a bit of a labour of love. This report deals with some general lessons to be learned from these case studies - it shows that a high standard of design is possible on historically sensitive sites - something that is not generally happening.'

The document covers a wide cross section of schemes: a Tesco supermarket in Ludlow, Shropshire, designed by MacCormac Jamieson Prichard Architects, is praised for showing how a large modern building can sit comfortably in a historic town; the Gwynne Road Housing scheme in Battersea, London, designed by Walter Menteth Architects, is commended for not letting a limited budget detract from architectural excellence and successfully slotting a high-density, low-level project into a historic London street; and Davygate, a retail scheme in York by Panter Hudspith Architects is also congratulated for showing how architects, clients and planners can work together to successfully create a contemporary retail scheme on a sensitive site.

The report also includes a checklist for those involved in appraising planning proposals for historic sites. Golding added that he hoped the document would inspire and assist planners and architects when dealing with such schemes.

The report is available from 0870 333 1181 or e-mail enquiries@cabe. org. uk

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