Arts Quarter, Chelmsford

Central Campus Chelmsford, a proposed high-density predominantly residential mixed-use development, is located on the site of the former Anglia Polytechnic University in central Chelmsford. The scheme for Countryside Properties Plc, comprises 54,000 square metres of one and two bedroom apartments of which a proportion are for social housing and shared equity occupation, as well as 7,200 square metres of offices, 7,900 square metres of retail and 3,000 square metres of arts facilities. Altogether, the scheme aims to produce a new urban arts quarter of economic diversity with high standards for living and working, that prioritises pedestrian and cycle movement along with a fully integrated public and private transportation system within an architectural, landscape and urban design environment of the highest quality.

The 4.1 hectare site incorporates part of the existing Central Park and is bounded by a railway viaduct to the west, a dual carriageway ring road and park to the south, Victoria Road South to the east, and Duke Street with its train station, retail and commercial facilities to the north. Buildings have accrued on the site in an incoherent fashion over many years and features few buildings of any particular merit. However those like the Anne Knight building that have an intrinsic townscape or architectural value will be incorporated into the masterplan. The key element to the site is the green area segregated from the parkland by the bypass, this was to be retained but integrated into the scheme under a land swap agreement.  Various other distinctive characteristics around the site include a brick railway viaduct with Victorian arches, a number of mature oak trees, the proximity of the rail station and potential links to established commercial and retail precincts.

Project data
Location Chelmsford, Essex, UK
Uses Category Mixed-Use Development
Site Area 19,500m²
Gross Internal Area Not Available
Net Internal Area Not Available
Overall Area Not Available
Area Above Ground Not Available
Ground Floorplate Not Available
Number of Floors 30
Gross:Net Area 70 - 80%
Plot Density 8:1
Construction Cost £70 million
Cost/m² £2059 GIA
Client Edward Lloyd
The Architect Richard Rogers Partnership
Team Mark Darbon, Jose Llerena, Stephen MacBean, Annie Miller,  Leonardo Pelleriti, Annie Templeton, Freda Yuen
Project Manager Insignia Richard Ellis
Structural Engineer Anthony Hunt Associates
Services Consultant Ove Arup & Partners
QS/Costs Consultant AYH Partnership
Landscape Architect Edward Hutchison
Fire Consultants Warrington Fire Research
Planning Consultants Montagu Evans
CDM Planning Supervisor Symonds Travers Morgan
District Surveyor Corporation of London
Lighting Consultant Lighting Design partnership
Main Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine