City Park West in Central Chelmsford has been given the coveted accolade of Regeneration Scheme of the Year at The British Homes Awards.
The judges praised "the use of materials and hierarchy in the architecture" as well as the "sensitive incorporation of heritage buildings on the site and the sense of real connection to the market town centre of Chelmsford.”
Higgins was appointed by Notting Hill Genesis to build phase two of the mixed-use neighbourhood of 645 new homes in five residential buildings, including a 14 storey tower, along with three refurbished buildings, one of which is listed, four public squares, cafes, restaurants, workplaces, community facilities and public art.
Designed by award winning architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards, the brief called for a high density development with a range of house types from one bedroom extra care flats to three bedroom mews houses with rooftop terraces. Built to high environmental standards, each home has access to a garden, terrace, or balcony with 60% of the homes for rent, 20% shared ownership, 10% social housing and the remainder providing affordable extra care.
The Grade II listed Anne Knight Building, a former Quaker meeting house was sensitively restored and is now a restaurant with the other two offering office space and penthouse apartments. The mix of new and old, public realm and public art in the car-free neighbourhood reinforces the feeling that City Park West is designed with people in mind, creating a great place to live and to visit.
Pedestrian routes and public spaces through the development are enhanced by fountains and artworks. An interactive video display and text has also been carved into paving, benches, and steps to define six distinct neighbourhood areas. Open to everyone, these spaces act as amenity for residents and define City Park West as much as the buildings do.