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10 NEWS LEICESTER RESTORATION


Former Fenwick building in retail-to-resi scheme


Plans to restore and convert the former Fenwick building in Leicester city centre have been approved which will see the landmark building brought back to life with a mixed-use development. Project partners developer Aimrok Holdings and architects rg+p applied to transform the former department store building into 111 luxury, short stay serviced apartments, together with a rooftop bar which will become a focal point for the development. On the basement and ground floor, the approved design reconfigures an area of 30,000 ft2


to


include conference rooms, start-up office space and independent commercial units. The 111 luxury, short stay serviced apartments comprise a mix of studio, one and two bedroom designs, and associated amenities such as an exercise room, ground floor bar, reception and laundry. A two- storey extension to the rear of the building will provide five duplex apartments. All of the apartments have been designed to bring out the period detail of the building, using existing features wherever possible. The rooftop bar is formed from a single


storey extension and will be available to tenants of the apartments, as well as the general public. Plans include space for a roof terrace and semi-enclosed courtyard. Andrew Crainey, managing director, Aimrok Holdings, commented, “Our intention has always been to revitalise and restore this building so that it remains a significant destination for Leicester. Working closely alongside rg+p, we’ve created a viable and sustainable design, which we believe will stand out in the modern marketplace. We’re extremely pleased with the successful outcome of this planning application and now look forward to commencing work transforming this much-loved local landmark.” James Badley, director at rg+p, commented, “This scheme is designed to honour the building’s history by emphasising some of its period features while simultaneously creating high quality residential and commercial space. We’ve worked closely alongside our heritage consultants and the planning team at Leicester City Council to ensure a seamless blend of old and new. Materials such as


copper panelling, stainless steel and powder coated window frames have been incorporated to achieve this. Working on this project represents a fantastic opportunity to continue our investment in our home city, and we’re pleased to be part of the team transforming this iconic building for the future.”


Brooklyn public library topped with affordable residences NEW YORK


Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) have announced the redevelopment of the Sunset Park Library in Brooklyn, New York. The mixed-use development, to be


completed in December 2020, will feature a 21,000 ft2


library facility topped by 50


affordable residences for “low-income occupants.” Sunset Park is the result of what’s been described as a “remarkable partnership” between the Brooklyn Public Library and the Fifth Avenue Committee and “represents a groundbreaking model for shared-use development that can be replicated in other communities across the City,” the architects commented.


Replacing the current Sunset Park


Library branch, the eight-storey development will offer two and a half floors of library space (more than double the current square footage), plus 50 units of much needed affordable housing in the neighbourhood. The library’s glass front “will brighten the streetscape; opening the building to the community and welcoming visitors,” said the architects. The large windows will also bring


natural light into the reading and learning spaces within. Above, a brick exterior will echo the neighbourhood historic building material. “The masonry gives way to panelling at the 7th floor setback and


insets on the facade, breaking the mass and lightening the structure’s presence,” said MAP. Topped with solar panels, the development is expected to achieve significant energy cost reductions. Residential amenities include a community room that opens onto a landscaped outdoor deck at the second floor. Christine Hunter, principal at MAP


said, “We’re very proud to be part of a project with such positive impact. Not only does the development help meet the city’s critical need for more affordable housing, it also enhances a much-loved and heavily used library branch, which is so vital to a strong community.”


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


ADF MARCH 2019


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