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Leigh Court, High Wycombe, 2019

Child Graddon Lewis Architects (CGL) designed the scheme and steered it through planning into the tender stage.Ana worked through RIBA stages 3 and 4 on this residential project located in the historic furniture district of High Wycombe back in 2018, whereby she helped with the planning of the scheme and the compiling & issuing the tender package.

As High Wycombe has become a commuter hotspot due to its proximity to London and the employment prospects offered by the capital, the property market located there has experienced significant growth in value. This is of little surprise when one considers the burgeoning demand for housing combined with the transportation links and local amenities the town possesses.

The Leigh Court scheme is made up of 6 sites (totalling 0.8 hectares) comprised of 228 one and two bedroom apartments, (as well as a commercial element). In one of the sites is located a locally listed, dilapidated factory building (the famous ‘X-G Plan’ factory) which has been restored and shall be protected under the development.

The other five sites also consist of disused industrial buildings and all six sites together form a Conservation Area.

The project’s objective was to revitalise the locality and provide residential opportunities all whilst respecting the heritage buildings at each site. This was achieved through intelligent landscape design and aesthetic choices that do not conflict or contrast directly with those of the listed constructions.

The modern façades coloured using a light and unobtrusive palette, coupled with the verdant micro-court yard design, presents an environment that feels more modern and dynamic as opposed to one that ran the risk of feeling sombre and industrial. These grassy areas add a natural touch and provide modest stretches of green where tenants can enjoy time outdoors.
As ever, space and freedom to enjoy the outdoors were considered. For those living in apartments not on the Ground floor, balconies are provided that overlook the main paths that intersect the sites.

Space planning is always at the forefront of any design which aims to fully utilise available land without giving an impression of being confined.

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