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News - 1 October 2006

King Alfred development to be taller and more elegant

Revised designs for a curvier King Alfred development in Hove are due to go to a special meeting of the council’s Policy & Resources Committee this week.

Architect Frank Gehry’s team have been working on revisions to accommodate views of government architectural advisors CABE and English Heritage, expressed in April this year.

Then, the bodies were concerned about what they felt was the bulky nature of buildings surrounding two central towers and how they related to historic properties in the nearby conservation area.

Now a report to the committee prepared by officials outlines the main changes. They include making the perimeter buildings lower and curved to soften their appearance.

The central towers will become slightly higher and the striking leisure centre building more prominent. The report says, “There has been considerable detailed development of the design including the massing, form and elevational treatment. The overall impression is now of a design by one hand, consistent in approach and detailing and declaring its powerful identity.

“The perimeter blocks have been generally reduced by some two floors and their profile is now curved and sculpted with a curved roof profile to complement the very visible roof of the sports centre.

“The two towers are slightly taller, at 24 and 28 storeys, than the previous submission - 22 and 26 - and have regained much of the power and elegance of the initial concept. They are now modelled in some detail, creating a dynamic composition with the underlying concrete structure covered in a skin of faceted and ribboned stainless steel.”

Chair of the King Alfred Project Board Sue John said, “Karis/ING, together with Frank Gehry, have been listening hard to communities and experts alike to develop a scheme aimed at gaining the maximum possible support. It’s a great improvement, a great scheme, and I hope fellow councillors agree.”

Siep Hoeksma, Country Manager, ING Real Estate said, “We are very pleased with the recommendations to the Policy and Resources Committee. We have listened very carefully to all the feedback we’ve received and we have evolved our proposals to encompass people’s views. We have made real improvements and the new plans include better design and integration, better public spaces and an even more sustainable scheme.

Josh Arghiros, Managing Director, Karis Holdings said, “From the outset of this project Karis Holdings have been committed to providing an outstanding scheme for the redevelopment of the King Alfred site. We have carried out extensive consultation both locally and with national and government bodies and the feedback has been invaluable in helping us to develop new enhanced proposals that meet the needs and aspirations of the local community. We hope that councillors will endorse the recommendations to Policy and Resources and that we will be able to move forward as quickly as possible to deliver this world class scheme.”

The special meeting is at 4pm on Thursday October 5 at Hove Town Hall. It will establish the council’s position as landlord of the site rather than decide on planning permission. A planning application would need to be made separately.

Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove City Council
Arghiros, Josh
Gehry, Frank
King Alfred

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