Bogle Architects has received planning approval for a 11-storey mixed use scheme comprising 67,250 sq ft of commercial space, 1,500 sq ft retail and 59 residential units, of which 36% will be affordable housing.
The proposal replaces a 48,380 sq ft outdated office building on Clarendon Road, the main route between Watford Town Centre and the main transport link of the town, Watford Junction Train Station. The site and its context are dominated by office use, surrounded by low density housing.
The two blocks are conceived as a single volume, evident in the finely detailed and coherent façade treatment. The choice of high quality materials responds to the scheme's prominent location.
Richard Olsen, Chairman of Orion, said: ‘We are thrilled to achieve consent on our Gresham House scheme. Unanimous consent is a bonus and a credit to our team. Planning is always a team effort but Bogle Architects’ design and attention to every aspect of detail really was key in this case.’
Peter Jeffery, Director at JLL, adds: 'This is a fantastic planning permission on a challenging but prominent site. Working together with the exceptional team at Bogle Architects, we have successfully unlocked a great potential.'
Viktor Rohacs, Project Director at Bogle Architects, comments: "We are delighted our scheme has achieved planning consent. A great deal of thought went into the carefully stepped profile, creating a building that sits comfortably within its immediate context, minimising impact on its neighbours."
Establishing a successful allocation of residential use alongside the commercial space required extensive testing of potential arrangements. A clean vertical split between the two main uses was chosen, with the office element located along the street frontage and the residential block to the rear of the site. The scheme also includes a significant provision of high quality public realm.
The proposal provides generous amenity space for the residents in the form of balconies, shared gardens and roof terraces. The offices and all apartments are fully wheelchair accessible, with 14 of the 59 residential units featuring wheelchair adaptable internal layouts.
Sustainability is at the heart of the proposal embracing energy efficiency, maximum use of natural daylight and ventilation. The office component is designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.
The varying scale of the context and the required residential element created a challenging brief. Extensive consultations with the local council, reviews of the scheme with the Hertfordshire Design
Panel and presentations to the local community all helped to steer the successful outcome of the resulting design.
Secured by Design principles were an integral part of the design process and the scheme has been coordinated and developed with the Crime Prevention Design Service of the Hertfordshire Constabulary.