Forming an iconic gateway to Whitehaven in Cumbria, UK, the art-deco Bus Station required a transformation after closing in 2002. As part of the wider North Shore Development Quarter, NORR worked with the profit-for-purpose developer BEC (Building Extraordinary Communities) to transform the former bus station into Cumbria’s flagship digital and creative hub, utilizing the historic building fabric and breathing new life into the iconic public building. Recognizing the significance of the key visual landmark, the design was carefully crafted to retain and celebrate the curved brick façade while integrating an exciting contemporary form to offset and complement the historic form.
Comprised of managed and flexible workspace, artisan food and beverage offerings as well as a variety of bookable rooms and a maker-space facility, the multi-use Bus Station reflects the new requirements and nature of post-Covid office space. This development brings city-style start-up space to the coast of Cumbria with 24-hour access, digital and prototyping suites and co-located business support services courtesy of Barclay’s Eagle Labs. The design, from the earliest conception, engrained the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion, working with the challenging building layouts to maximize access for all. The proposed floor plans create free movement into and around the Bus Station, with ease of entry, obstacle free access and using the sloping topography setting to permit street level entry to both ground and first floors. Parking spaces are fully accessible together with EV charging provision. Careful consideration to design helps aid visibility and inclusion across a wide spectrum. The building is welcoming and inviting to all people regardless of age, ability levels, background, religion, or ethnicity and provides a dining room for the town while enriching the flexible workplace.
The design achieved a BREAAM Very Good rating and beyond this was further enhanced by using natural ventilation wherever possible, sustainable construction materials, good levels of insulation, air tightness, low energy use heating and lighting and carefully considered acoustic performance. The innovative Direct Current (DC) lighting system is more efficient at using the solar power generated on-site by the PV panels. Future connectivity to a planned low carbon electricity network gives the project adaptability. The reuse of the existing offices prevented huge quantities of waste materials going to landfill and the most appropriate low carbon technologies were installed throughout supported by additional battery storage powered from the solar array. This sustainable, creative, and flexible multi-use space helps improve employment prospects in Cumbria and delivers tangible benefits for the local community.
- RTPI North West Awards 2021, Overall Winner
- RTPI North West Awards 2021, Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy
- RTPI North West Awards 2021, Excellence in Planning for Culture and Heritage
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