Evans McDowall Architects were commissioned to consider the redevelopment of the Greyfriars site, close to the historic centre of Grantham. The aim of the redevelopment was to increase housing density and explore opportunities to re-connect the site with the town centre.
The site has been identified as a character area within the Grantham Townscape Assessment. The land immediately to the east contains the historic core of Grantham with over 200 listed buildings and many others that make a positive contribution to the area.
In response to the brief, EMA explored options for the redevelopment of the site by taking a holistic approach to sustainable development both in terms of the environment and community. The existing apartments on the site date from the early 1970s and were deemed unsuitable for refurbishment by the client. The design of the new properties will reduce energy demand and carbon emissions through passive environmental design, airtight construction and the use of low and zero carbon technologies to improve energy efficiency.
The site layout has been developed following a careful analysis of Grantham town centre and is arranged as a series of interlinked open green spaces running from north to south. An analysis of the existing urban grain and historic maps was carried out to understand the development of the area over time. The street pattern, block size and building forms in the Market Place to the east were considered, helping to establish the scale, mass and proportions of the proposed houses.
Although urban in character the development aims to add to the greenspaces within the town centre. Connecting open spaces are introduced to extend the existing green corridor and provide space for communities to come together. Houses and apartments were grouped around these spaces, all linked by an informal road and footpath layout that increased the permeability across the wider site. Pedestrian routes to the site and its visual links to the town informed where the key buildings should be located.