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Studio Spicer shrinks Stratford-upon-Avon 'gateway' scheme

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Studio Spicer Architects has won approval for this office and apartment block on a ‘gateway’ location in Stratford-upon-Avon after substantially reworking and shrinking its original designs

In late 2015 the Warwickshire-based practice revealed proposals for a 10-storey tower providing 21 apartments on the former Maison nightclub site at the corner of Arden Street and Greenhill Street in the historic core of Stratfod (see AJ 04.12.15).

But, following discussions with Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s planning officers and conservation team, the studio returned with a nine-apartment, four-storey scheme clad in Cor-ten steel, zinc and hand-made Danish brick.

According to the practice, the approved plans ’provide no affordable housing, nor any financial contribution towards an off-site scheme’ explaining that larger, earlier designs ’which did include affordable housing [were] knocked back, due to impact on the town and character of the Conservation Area’.

The project is backed by Escape Developments. Construction is set to begin next year and to complete in early 2019.

Early plans from December 2015 (left) and approved scheme from 2017 (right)

Early plans from December 2015 (left) and approved scheme from 2017 (right)

Early plans from December 2015 (left) and approved scheme from 2017 (right)

Architect’s view

This Stratford gateway site offered the unique challenge of a poor-quality building, which required replacement and the opportunity to instigate the transformation of the entrance to the town, at this key arterial junction. The deliberately contemporary approach is to ensure that the new building is an honest representation of our time and not a poor-quality pastiche addition.

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