pdp architecture were commissioned to submit a planning application to demolish the existing former Labour Club building (Unity Hall) and replace it with student studio apartments.
The concept is to provide a focal landmark building for this prominent junction site within the centre of the city and in accordance with Portsmouth City Council’s Tall Building Supplementary Planning Document (June 2012), where the site is identified as a potential location for a tall development, a scheme for a development of 4 storeys rising to 10 storeys is proposed.
The proposed layout has two vertical circulation cores serving two joined blocks. Block ‘A’ is the taller of the two, facing onto Holbrook Road, with Block ‘B’ being subservient and having its entrance on Coburg Street. The quantity of units per floor varies according to the nature of the building and how it steps away from the east. The ground floor provides an active frontage incorporating a large social space, two main entrances, access to communal stores and an under croft parking facility (retained under ownership of Portsmouth City Council).
The appearance of the scheme is made up of two key elements, forming the overall composition of the building. These have been divided through the use of glazed areas to separate the two parts of the building which are comprised of red facing brick and cladding panels. The taller 10 storey part of the proposed scheme focuses on a tower element, creating a focal point to the scheme. This has been treated differently from the rest of the building, achieved through tapered aluminium cladding panels in order to break up the elevation through the manipulation of light and shadow. The neighbouring lower storeys to the tower use a contrasting cladding colour to emphasise the tower element and linked throughout with the use of feature orange panels. Through the use of high quality materials this will give the proposal a focal landmark appearance when viewed from surrounding streets.