A new “Discovery Building” and two new commercial buildings totalling 150,000 sq ft at Longcross, Chertsey have unanimously been granted detailed planning by Runneymede Borough Council.
Designed by Scott Brownrigg for Crest Nicholson, the three buildings set the tone for the commercial development within the mixed-use park; a 40 hectare former Major Developed Site (MDS) within the Greenbelt. The first 108 residential properties are currently underway.
The Discovery Building is located at the intersection between the residential and commercial communities of the Park; adjacent to a newly landscaped lake. The landmark building will become a “destination point” on a key pedestrian route that links the Garden Village homes, the commercial park and Longcross rail station. Benefitting both communities, the Discovery Building will provide a coffee shop, delicatessen, bakery and a multi-use space for exhibitions, meetings, clubs and fitness, together with marketing facilities and potential space for smaller start-up companies supporting the onsite film studios. The space has been designed to evolve to respond to demands as the Park develops.
Its simple, exquisite design has been developed with angular geometry that responds to the existing roads and proposed streetscape. Delightful external spaces/rooms have been created that offer the opportunity for sunlit terraces; with a decked area that steps down to the water.
Developed as an object in the landscape surrounded by the indigenous silver birch and pine trees, the architectural language has been conceived to respond to the jewel-like quality of the building’s plan form which is set within a beautifully landscaped public realm environment. The service spine within the building responds to the environmental considerations. Each element has been put together very carefully to demonstrate quality and simplicity. The external stair uses a perforated metal screen which during the evening will provide a warm, welcoming glow.
The two commercial office buildings provide the first phase of commercial development and will set the standard of quality for the Park. Located on a prime plot at the entrance to the site they create an entrance frontage onto the tree lined, hard and soft landscape of the arrival boulevard and overlook site-inspired artwork by Wolfgang Buttress. Offering tenants excellent landscaped vistas to the adjoining woodland, with prime frontage to the M3 motorway, these buildings have been designed to accommodate the changing working environment. Higher soffits delivering light and space as well as a variety of options for servicing enable higher density workspaces to be delivered that are efficient whilst providing a ‘good to work in’ varied internal working environment. The buildings respond to the demands of new working practices and emerging trends, and also takes advantage of the natural changes in level on the site, enabling much of the car parking to be slid under the building at lower ground level allowing a more open and landscaped garden site to be created. A small pocket park adjacent to the commercial buildings and diagonally opposite the Discovery Building will provide an amphitheatre space for use by the occupiers and wider community.
Work will start on site in spring 2018.