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RCKa to reinvent business park with community-led Isle of Wight plans

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RCKa Architects has revealed designs for a radical new type of business park earmarked for a site on the Isle of Wight

Working with Peter Brett Associates, the practice has drawn up plans for a dense, community-led development for the Ryde Nicholson Road Business Park  described as a ‘new typology based on placemaking’

The firm said the ‘highly contextual’ scheme would group buildings around shared spaces and ‘introduce civic services to increase use and build a thriving business community’.

The proposals feature three separate areas: a rural business park; a meadowland campus; and a village square including a doctors’ surgery, event space, enterprise hub, homes and retail space.

According to RCKa these will activate the space throughout the day and incubate new businesses while providing support to those which are more established.  

Practice co-founder Tim Riley said: ‘Our aim is to create an improved typology for business parks – one where businesses can thrive through meaningful interaction with the wider context and neighbouring businesses.

‘With a focus on placemaking infrastructure, we can unlock the maximum commercial and social value out of the setting and deliver a highly desirable place to cultivate successful businesses.’

Peter D’Souza of Peter Brett Associates added: ‘Keeping the strong concepts and vision will be our challenge as the project moves from a feasibility study and business case to a hybrid application.’

It is understood work on the designs, which will be developed with local businesses and the local community, will begin next month.

Rcka ryde proposed site layout

Rcka ryde proposed site layout

Architect’s view

The proposal for Ryde Nicholson Road fosters inter-connectivity while reducing infrastructure costs and improving security through passive means. Businesses are clustered around shared external squares which serve as positive break-out spaces, enhancing business performance and the wellbeing of staff. This is applied across the whole site enhancing key routes and culminating at the site’s hub or ‘village square.’

Here, a denser mix of complementary uses are on offer, including a doctors’ surgery, event space, enterprise hub, residential units and retail space. These will activate the space throughout the day and incubate new businesses while providing support to those which are more established.       

Located in a rural part of the island, the scheme will enhance valuable assets such as a west-facing bank, ancient hedgerows and views across the countryside. The site’s rich rural character is of great value commercially and also contributes to occupant’s wellbeing. In keeping with this contextually sensitive approach, all new buildings are integrated into the landscape and are of a rural vernacular style to complement the setting.

Proposals physically stitch the site into its setting, with new road connections and enhanced pedestrian paths which link up to public transport such as the Island Line railway and bus stops on Great Preston Road.

Car parking is provided, given the high level of car ownership on the island. However, unlike traditional business parks where spaces are allocated per business, parking is spread along the site’s edges to reduce costs, encourage more pedestrian activity and interaction and allow for a denser development. Drop-off and delivery spaces are provided for each business along with disabled parking bays. At the proposed meadowland campus, all vehicular movement is separated by existing natural hedges.

The development will be phased so that essential elements and infrastructure are delivered first. Room for adaptation and change is facilitated in later phases to fall in line with potential changes in the market.

Project data

Client Isle of Wight Council
Architect RCKa
Landscape architect KLA
Planning consultant Peter Brett Associates
Structural engineer Peter Brett Associates
M&E consultant Peter Brett Associates
Quantity surveyor Stockdale
Planning supervisor RCKa
Gross internal floor area 15ha

Rcka 1722 ryde exsiting and proposed diagram portrait 1200x1800

Rcka 1722 ryde exsiting and proposed diagram portrait 1200x1800

Existing and proposed diagram

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