CIVIC TRUST AWARD WINNERS 2021
Dear friends of Chelsea Barracks,
We are delighted to announce that Phase I of Chelsea Barracks has been awarded a highly coveted Civic Trust Award.
With the sustainable mix of community uses and extensive landscaped gardens and pathways, Chelsea Barracks has been recognised for its positive contribution to the local community. The development has been praised as a natural extension of Belgravia that can be enjoyed by residents and the wider neighbourhood beyond.
Comprised of a trio of highly crafted residential buildings designed by Squire & Partners, the brief for Phase I was to reconcile the delivery of contemporary architecture suited to modern apartment style living, with an aspiration to connect it seamlessly into the traditional wider context of Belgravia. The ambition was to create a new piece of London rooted in this historic neighbourhood.
To achieve this, a framework for the 12.8-acre site was established - with new streets, gardens and squares connecting the masterplan with the existing urban pattern. Inspired by the evolution of London’s Great Estates and the formal Georgian squares of Belgravia, the gardens were designed first, highlighting historic views through the site, with the buildings positioned in the spaces between.
THE LANDSCAPED PUBLIC REALM
Placing the residences around the series of landscaped public routes and squares, this ensured that the development would be accessible to the local community and evolve as a natural addition to the area. Whilst being rooted in the heritage and context of the local area, the architectural language of the residential buildings is distinctly contemporary.
Façades are characterised by smooth and textured variations of Portland Stone, fluted vertical columns, recessed bays and projecting balconies. Bespoke organic patterns designed for the external metalwork on balconies and penthouse screens were inspired by the history of productive gardens once prevalent in the area, as well as the nearby Chelsea Physic Garden, adding richness and complexity.
A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY
Bordering the front of Phase I along Chelsea Bridge Road, Bourne Walk is conceived as a tree-lined ecology corridor which fosters a space for native woodland flora and fauna and a link between the Thames and Sloane Square. Behind Phase I, a De Lank stone and bronze planter at Dove Place, home to the Bicameral Sculpture, guides people to Whistler Square - designed as a calm and discrete space with a subtle water scrim. Mulberry Square continues the theme of water, together with a large culinary garden and bands of colour and textured planting that takes inspiration from the work of artist Bridget Riley. Beyond this, the small piazza of Garrison Square is overlooked by the listed Garrison Chapel.
Chelsea Barracks opens up the site for the first time since the mid-19th century to connect and ground it to its surroundings and create accessibility for all, with 40% of the site dedicated to seven contemporary Belgravia Square gardens, creating permeable public green space and walkways through the development. The masterplan identifies a sustainable mix of community uses and landscaped public realm to create a place which feels like a natural part of London’s evolution, built on its past but looking to the future.