Lewis & Hickey were commissioned to undertake the design of a new public services hub for Newcastle under Lyme on behalf of the Local and County Councils and Staffordshire Police Authority to consolidate public services from across nine different existing sites within the borough, including Social and Democratic Services, Police, Library, Revenues and Benefits, Registrars and Council Chambers.
The site was a particularly sensitive location adjacent to the historic core of the town and the next to the picturesque Queen’s Gardens, at a key gateway on the existing ring road and as such required sensitive handling and extensive liaison with the LPA Planning and Conservation officers, an external design review panel and local interest groups. This process was further complicated by existing site restrictions and limitations especially associated with the complex network of underground services which in some instances were not capable of diversion. From the initial brief schedule of accommodation; the design was developed through a highly complex process of brief definition and resolution to comply with the often-conflicting needs of the various services and organisations. This involved frequent and extensive workshops with service leads and managers via a ‘live’ interactive BIM model to facilitate communication and assist the capture process.
The development was required to be BREEAM ‘Very Good’ as Staffordshire County Council standards. This was embraced in both the design and specification with an ‘L’ shaped footprint form that facilitates maximum day lighting to the office areas. The opportunity was also taken to provide Photovoltaic panels at roof level where possible.