Coffey Architects has started on site with the refurbishment of an outdated retail and office building on Cheltenham High Street on behalf of real estate investment firm Addington Capital. Planning permission was granted in late 2018 by Cheltenham Borough Council.
The London-based practice has designed a new façade, entrance threshold and route which climbs up to converted first and second floor office spaces and through to a 55sqm private garden courtyard for commercial clients.The 1880sqm building’s ground level will remain retail space, enlivened to match the high street’s increasingly high calibre, which includes a new flagship John Lewis store adjacent Coffey Architects’ site.
The first floor will house open plan office spaces with a lush double-height courtyard inserted in the middle of the floorplan. This landscaped cut-out will dually serve as a communal amenity space for office workers and to bring natural light into the deep floor-plate. The second floor has two additional office spaces and a new, hidden plant enclosure to increase the building’s sustainability features.
Coffey Architects will carefully restore the existing Bath stone on the high street elevation, matching it with a palette of complementing materials, including aluminium and steel cladding, for the elegant entrance threshold and large Oriel ‘pop-out’ windows. The lane-way and service yard elevations (to the building’s side and rear) will be painted a contemporary dark grey, utilising both gloss and matt effects to unify the mass of the building.
The site is located within Cheltenham’s ‘Old Town’ central conservation area. At present, the existing ground floor is inactive, due to neglected and vacant retail spaces.
Steve Jones, project director for the scheme, said: “Cheltenham’s high street is undergoing a major transformation, and we’re pleased to be part of it. In addition to updating the public realm with new landscaping, welcoming seating and a performance space, we’re pleased to see the council is welcoming good design which will provide long-term positive impact on the area’s the social and commercial culture.”
Coffey Architects is working with local contractor Barnwood Construction for the delivery of the project.