Wooburn Green

Wooburn Green


Re-Format was commissioned to re-work an existing planning approved scheme for 44 retirement apartments on a brownfield site in the Buckinghamshire village, Wooburn Green. The existing site, adjacent to the conservation area, was formerly occupied by an industrial unit and is now bounded by fields, residential and some commercial enterprises.

The brief to Re-Format was to retain the same massing and roof forms of the submitted scheme, but to look at design improvements to the internal layout and facades to create a more balanced appearance. The resulting building design would have less complexities and focus more on the specific value of design in order to provide a cost effective yet highly desirable development. Particular attention has been given to the proportion of balconies, fenestration and a more calm approach to detailing.

The mass of the building is ‘broken down’ through the introduction of projecting gables as per the extant scheme, but with improved and better proportioned elevations. The balconies are less imposing, and an emphasised textured brick plinth has been introduced to the ground floor for character. Generally the changes create a less grandiose scheme based not on pastiche appropriation, but more on fundamental architectural principles that lead to an honest, yet elegant proposal, responding to the context in a positive fashion.

A simple and restrained palette utilises a red multi stock brick, slate coloured roof tiles and metal balcony balustrades in a subtle tone that matches the aluminium glazing and which compliments the brickwork and the village context. The industrial history of the site and surrounding industrial influences are echoed by the consistent articulation of fenestration, form materials and subtle brick detailing in order to provide a robust yet elegant brick building.

We worked closely with a very professional and well informed client, whom engaged quality consultants that complimented their aspirations, and by bringing a professional contractor on board early the project benefited from a solid base to work from where ideas were tested and interrogated to ensure that the design integrity was not diminished.

“Prior to working with Re-Format directly, I had long admired the quality and consistency of output from the practice from afar. Working with them directly as client lead on a residential apartment scheme with challenging design aspirations and complex project timescales I was certainly not disappointed – the friendly team surpassed my expectations and met every deadline with thorough & highly presentable information.”

Simon Broomfield, Development Director – LifeStory