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St Anne’s Well, Exeter

Client: Private
Area: 5,500 m²
Stage: Project
Building costs: Not applicable
Description: 60 New Dwellings

Planning permission, Listed Building and Conservation Area Consent was granted to us in 2006 for the design of a 60 unit apartment block. Regrettably, to date, our scheme remains unimplemented. The site is located within the heart of the St David’s Conservation Area and is surrounded by Listed Buildings, most notable of which are, the former St Anne’s Well Brewery and the magnificent “Iron Bridge” – a masterpiece of engineering, built in 1834 during the reign of King William IV. St David’s is a particularly notable area, as it is the one main part of the city centre that was largely unaffected by the events of the 4th of May 1942.

The design is for an overtly modern building, purposely distinct from its neighbours in terms of treatment and use of materials, so as to clearly signify its age and make its own contribution to the townscape. In fact, the building is almost sub-”united’habitation” in concept. The dwellings are raised above their site, most have their own balconies, and there are large landscaped gardens on the roof, which overlook the skyline of the surrounding city. There is also a broad mix of units, from smaller 1 Bedroom units right through to luxury penthouses.

Our approach was a direct response to the shift in attitude of the Council’s Planning Department from its previous preference for pastiche, to one of encouraging much more contemporary design solutions. From the standpoint of an Exeter-based Architect, this sea-change in attitude to architectural style, was the planning equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

© Ford Gilpin Riley Ltd, Ford House, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, England EX5 3HU
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