“jmarchitects are so excited to be involved with this fantastic opportunity to turn this derelict underutilised urban site in the heart of Wolverhampton, into a thriving community offering a variety of canal side homes within a 5/10min walk of the city centre and the train station. It’s been a pleasure to work with the Placefirst and the wider design team to tailor the design to ensure the proposal maximises it full potential of its canal side location, knitting the site with its surrounding context by allowing the existing towpath connect through the development’s comprehensive landscape strategy. Providing a great balance between practical, usable spaces to service the built form and importantly areas for all ages to rest and play safely and also offering a variety of planting to soften the built form, and bring a much needed increase in biodiversity and create spaces that will bring joy to many, offering a welcome break from the hard cityscape. We are really looking forward to bringing this area regenerating development to site in the new year!”

Andy Rogers, jmarchitects Manchester

The site is located in Wolverhampton’s Canalside Quarter, which forms part of the local authorities future vision of the city ‘Area Action Plan’.

The existing Union Mill area comprises of several buildings, some Grade ll Listed and some Locally Listed, forming two industrial courtyards. The Lower Horseley Fields area comprises of a waste treatment hub.

The submitted application seeks consent for 370 residential units of varying size and typology; through a mix of new build and conversion of existing buildings.

The key design principles have included the following:

  • A focus on retention and re-purposing of existing buildings to strengthen the industrial heritage that defines the Union Mill Conservation Area
  • The creation of a close-knit urban fabric, befitting of its location
  • A use of strong building lines, and a simple rectilinear street pattern, drawn from the industrial architectural language of the canalside.
  • Avoiding repetition of form with a variety of roofscapes, retaining a simple palette of materials to unify the site whilst maximising nuance of individual dwellings.
  • A distinct public realm with shared surface streets to reconnect the site to the wider area, fostering canalside activity for pedestrians.
  • A landscape scheme which anchors the development to its surroundings to create a sense of place through the provision of a variety of public and private spaces with dedicated communal areas containing elements such as allotment plots, greenhouses, play areas and shared cycle stores.

Credit: Andrew Rogers & Chris Nutton-Jones, jmarchitects Manchester

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