Designed to boost Chester’s business economy and set a precedent for investment throughout the city, a new public space has been launched outside of Chester Railway Station – marking a gateway to the city’s new £100 million Central Business Quarter.
Due for completion in 2028, the plan, set out by One City, is an all-new development under construction to guide future economic regeneration of the area. The project’s end-goal is to co-ordinate a programme of public and private investment and development activity into the city centre.
The plan defines the overarching vision and direction of travel for Chester; under which all projects will sit – helping to centralise prioritisation, implementation and delivery of transportation for the city.
As part of the plan, City Place sets new standards for office space in Chester with its stunning architecture, modern design and sustainable features.
Taking inspiration from the area’s rich heritage and industrial foundations, the new development - located at the gateway to the City - acts as the focal point of the Central Business Quarter.
Located close to Chester’s recently refurbished Grade II listed mainline Railway Station, which runs alongside the Shropshire Union Canal, the new site is set to be both iconic and sympathetic to its historic surroundings.
On completion the development will provide office accommodation, associated retail and leisure facilities, as well as 200 residential units. In addition, a new public realm scheme has seen the development of a winter garden and 30 metres of green-wall, which runs underneath the original Grade II listed Porte Cochere that forms a key entrance to the station.
In keeping with the sympathetic, yet contemporary design of the scheme, Wienerberger’s Gala Waterstruck clay pavers have been laid flexibly in a stretcher bond-laying pattern with stack bond detailing. Designed to create a synergy between the living wall and the ground, the project has also seen the creation of the Carriage Shed; a dedicated space for events and live performances within a renovated section of the station that links to the first office building at One City Place.
The regeneration, which has been delivered for Chester West and Chester Council, has been supported by a grant from the European Regional Development Fund. The Gateway project has seen a total of £11m invested over the past five years in upgrading the station and the surrounding area, with Broadway Malyan’s public realm works connecting the station to the first office building in the Central Business Quarter in One City Place.
High quality materials and building techniques have been used throughout the project to promote sustainability and longevity.
This has often resulted in traditional materials being used in an unorthodox way to great effect – demonstrating a pioneering element to the architectural design throughout the project. This can be noted in the use of Wienerberger’s Ashington Red Multi bricks and special shaped single cants and single cant return bricks, which offer durability, but have also been laid to create an intriguing aesthetic effect; with the natural rich red hues and black weathering of the products adding mellow character, while the beautifully mixed brown multi Gala Waterstruck pavers add a contrasting visual.
The high profile urban regeneration project, which has seen Wienerberger and Hardscape collaborate, is set to be ongoing for a further 12 years, and will add to Chester’s current boom - attracting more people into the heart of the city, whilst also acting as a pioneering example of modern architecture designed to celebrate and feature traditional materials that are fully reflective of the design’s wider environment.
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