The site of the former Mecca Bingo hall and Gaumont Club is currently unused. We want to make a significant investment to create jobs and regenerate this vacant site. Our proposal will bring new life and vibrancy to the north end of All Saints Green and support the pedestrianisation of the city centre.
Alumno’s scheme would provide 244 student bedrooms and facilities in a series of buildings ranging from 8 to 13 storeys above mixed-use ground floor, which are designed to complement and fit in with the surrounding built environment including Aviva`s offices. The development will be a car-free scheme, using the site’s proximity to Norwich Bus Station and location in the city centre.
The development will have a full-time onsite management team, 24-hour repairs and maintenance helpdesk number, and a team of student wardens available by mobile phone out of normal hours, to address any issues of antisocial behaviour or safety.
Our scheme has been designed by award-winning architects Carson & Partners, who were responsible for the recently opened-scheme adjacent to the bus station. While designing the scheme they will be seeking to deliver a project of the highest quality to support the vibrancy of the city centre. This will build on the success of their last project, which is now home to Norwich University of the Arts students.
We feel that this island site, surrounded by the dominant Aviva buildings which can be seen from across the city, provides an opportunity to create a bold building and fill an obvious gap in the street. Our design process is carefully considering views of the project, and its surroundings, which in turn will inform the final number of storeys, shape and overall massing of the building.
The design is currently a combination of five blocks stepping up in height from eight storeys (with the mixed-use ground floor below) in the south, peaking at thirteen (with ground floor below) to the north. The blocks step in and out to break up the building’s appearance/façade. The following CGI and sketches provide a first impression.
The Quad is proposed to be entirely car-free with limited on-street car parking for disabled users.
The site is well known locally and has housed many renowned nights throughout the decades previously as the “Gaumont” concert venue, where the Rolling Stones regularly played. Prior to this it was the Carlton cinema built in the 1930’s and, latterly the now-demolished Mecca Bingo Hall building. The City Council of Norwich is shortly commencing works on its planned pedestrianisation of Westlegate and All Saints Green, that aims to improve public areas and the area`s overall accessibility.
Alumno`s site will front on this newly pedestrianized and landscaped area and our proposed design draws influence from the softer and cleaner environment that these changes will create.
The proposals will seek to include a range of features in order to meet targets set out by Norwich District Council to encourage energy efficiency and sustainable travel. These include:
- Natural ventilation throughout the building through operable windows to provide free air cooling in summer months.
- Ventilation will be supplied by Heat Recovery Mechanical Ventilation (HRMV) systems that re-use the heat generated in the kitchen/dining rooms.
- Oversized windows to allow maximum ingress of natural light.
- Promotion of cycle use by the provision of conveniently accessible and secure cycle stores.
- Opportunity for green/brown roofs.
- Attenuated water strategy.
- Use of Green Guide to Specification A-Rated materials.
- Building will be BREEAM Very Good as a minimum.