IDP were appointed as Architect and Lead Consultant for the full technical delivery of 2,200sqm of high-quality retail / commercial spaces, within 16 separate units, which is part of a regeneration scheme to transform the heart of Aldershot town centre. Initially the scope included for shell and core only, but has since expanded to include for fit out of these commercial units. Above the commercial units are 100 much-needed new one, two and three bed residential units, including 18 affordable units, and 128 student studios for the nearby University for the Creative Arts. All of the residential units were remodelled by IDP to comply with accessible and adaptable dwellings Part M4(2), with 9 residential units and 8 student studios designed to wheelchair accessible Part M4(3) standards within RIBA Stage 4.
The ground level commercial units surround a landscaped courtyard on a podium deck, above an underground carpark with 61 car spaces, including 15 disabled spaces and 16 EV spaces, 4 motor bike spaces and storage for cycles. Part of the courtyard includes areas called Union Yard & Makers Yard, a new public square and creative space creating a focal point of the project, which consists of 8 container units for flexible commercial studio spaces, associated welfare facilities and a pedestrianised area with planting and benches, very similar to Coventry City Centre South.
A fabric first approach has been implemented by IDP with particular attention being paid to the thermal envelope and a high level of insulation specified to all thermal elements to minimise heat losses. In addition, a green roof has been designed to one of the residential blocks and photovoltaic panels will be installed throughout the flat roofs.
This has been a challenging project that fronts onto the main retail high streets on both sides of the development, with varying street levels to address. Providing all the residential accesses, car parking, floor levels and commercial frontages to regulations was a significant achievement. That, along with the differing shop frontages, roof heights and façade treatments, meant that no section
was the same.