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Clare Court, Nottingham

  • client
  • Megaclose
  • contract value
  • £confidential
  • date
  • 2018
  • sector
  • Student Accommodation
  • location
  • Nottingham
  • contact
  • Sam Critchlow

The corner of Lower Parliament Street and Glasshouse Street in the centre of Nottingham had been overlooked and unoccupied for over a decade. Not quite in a prime retail area, not quite in the Lacemarket or Creative Quarter, and dominated by the traffic on Glasshouse Street which provides access to the adjacent Victoria Shopping Centre.

Rayner Davies Architects were approached to develop a hybrid part-conversion, part-new build scheme that would eventually come to provide 92 studio apartments and 220 sq. m of commercial space in the city centre. The 1920’s Portland stone clad building fronting Lower Parliament Street is retained and has undergone restoration, including new heritage shop frontages. The new build infill replaces two buildings which had unfortunately significantly degraded during their dereliction. The proposed sits calmly as a continuation of the corner building’s eaves height and rhythm, with the design bringing a lot of depth/expression to the facade. The opportunity is also taken to introduce a new site entrance from Clare Street to the rear (previously a service yard), rejuvenating what had become a dead-end area and poor public realm environment.

By working proactively and collaboratively with Nottingham City Council’s planning department, RDA secured permission for the replacement of existing buildings which were characterful but regrettably beyond conversion. Approval was granted on the basis of design quality, in particular the attention to detail in the façade design. The brick detailing was fundamental to creating the proportions of the elevation and adds a sense of craftsmanship the façade. Two contrasting brick types were used with reference to the historic street pattern, whilst three step-levels in the brickwork layout created a sense of depth and rhythm. Further texture was created using corbelling and laying patterns, along with the use of brick specials.