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MICA-led team to overhaul landmark Plymouth office block

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MICA Architects has submitted plans to redevelop a prominent 10-storey building near Plymouth Station

The practice’s proposals would see the Intercity House office block converted into a modern facility for the University of Plymouth.

The building, originally designed by Howard Cavanagh and Ian Campbell, opened in 1962 as part of Patrick Abercrombie and James Paton-Watson’s mid-century Armada Way scheme. It acts as a landmark for those arriving by rail to the Devon city. 

It will be rebranded as Intercity Place after the MICA-led overhaul, becoming home to clinical skills facilities for the university’s Allied Health Professions and nursing/midwifery units as well as offering additional educational services.

MICA director Stuart Cade said the scheme would ‘transform’ the building.

‘A new gleaming bronze anodised, pleated façade will support a low-energy strategy for the high-performing academic building,’ he added.

The scheme forms part of a 10-year investment through the university’s Campus Masterplan.

University of Plymouth vice-chancellor Judith Petts said the overall plans for the institution’s estate would ‘reimagine university teaching and research spaces for the 21st century’.

She added: ‘The station scheme is an important part of these plans and will significantly improve this notable city landmark so that it becomes an exciting gateway into Plymouth.’

‘As a new home for allied health professions and nursing/midwifery, this builds on our already strong health credentials by making a significant investment in educating tomorrow’s health professionals for the region and beyond.’

MICA is working with fellow architect Stride Treglown on the scheme, as well as with consultants Atkins and WSP and engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan.

According to the university, the project is backed by the Heart of the South West LEP, Cornwall Council, the Department for Transport, the Cabinet Office, Plymouth City Council, Network Rail and Great Western Railway.

Plymouth inter city house by geof sheppard

Intercity House in 2008, the office block at Plymouth North Road railway station (in Devon, England) in the 1960s to house the local railway offices.

Source: Geoff Sheppard

Intercity House in 2008, the office block at Plymouth North Road railway station (in Devon, England) in the 1960s to house the local railway offices.

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans said: ‘This scheme is incredibly complex and entails radical change to the look and feel of the area around the station to create a modern and friendly welcome for the increasing number of passengers.

‘The project is huge, complicated and needs a city approach, which is why I am so excited to see this application from the university now submitted. We’ve started a journey to completely transform the station to create a better sense of arrival. With public transport playing a huge role in tackling climate change, this journey is more important than ever.’

Subject to planning, work on Intercity Place could begin early next year and be completed by February 2021. 

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