At 59 Lansdown, CALA Homes has transformed the site of the former police headquarters into a new community of character properties in a sought-after area of Cheltenham.

Where once stood outdated multi-storey office buildings and unsightly car parking areas is now an attractive collection of Georgian-inspired villas and apartments which take inspiration from the character and charm of this Regency town.

Craig Wall, project architect at Roberts Limbrick Architects, explains how a strong shared vision brought this unique development to life.

The redevelopment of the former Gloucestershire police headquarters presented an important opportunity to breathe new life into a significant landmark site in Cheltenham. Close collaboration between the CALA Homes team, the Local Authority and specialist groups ensured that the proposals balanced high quality placemaking principles with a considered response to some of the challenges and constraints of this brownfield site.

CALA’s design concept was dramatically different to that which had originally been put forward. Previous suggestions had been for a more traditional new homes development of just 45 properties. CALA saw the opportunity to create something bold and striking, with landmark buildings, beautiful curved terraces and a strong sense of place, all inspired by Cheltenham’s Georgian heritage.

The location of the new development, set within two conservation areas, provided us with no end of inspiration for its design and Georgian architecture has been reimagined for the 21st Century here. Apartments are housed in three grand period-style buildings providing an attractive frontage to the development, while three storey villas sit behind, in part using a curved terrace, echoing a local area building typology.

The scale and proportion of the villas reflect the timeless principles of Georgian architecture with tall windows, elegant cornicing and roof lanterns that flood the properties with natural light.

The use of a plinth, middle and top floor in the apartment buildings mimics the traditional ordering of Georgian villas, as does the use of a lantern storey which is set back from the main elevation. One of the apartment blocks was designed to provide a dual-aspect landmark building given its prominent corner position, with contemporary elevations designed to mirror the proportions of its neighbouring Wilton House – a locally listed building.

Overly elaborate detailing was avoided in favour of careful elevational layering and feature framing. A simple palette of materials included high quality reproduction Ashlar Stone in three shade variances, buff-coloured brick work, powder-coated metal panelling, aluminium-framed glazed windows and natural slate roofs.

A strong sense of place has been created, with attractive street scenes framed by the rich landscaping of mature retained trees as well as new avenue trees and high quality planting. A new area of public green open space has also been created to the rear of the development.
59 Lansdown is a project that we have been extremely proud to be a part of. CALA Homes saw a unique opportunity to not only create a high quality development of aspirational new homes, but to dramatically enhance the architectural value of the site and its significance within the local conservation area.
The collaborative and thoughtful approach at 59 Lansdown is reflective of the commitment of everyone involved to creating a development that both respects its historic landmark setting and creates a modern new community for many generations to come.

Find out more about the unique properties at 59 Lansdown.

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