Commercial Square (Grafton Way Phase 1)

A major mixed-use development alongside a new riverside park

The Vision

The brownfield site along Grafton Way is a prime brownfield site in a very strategic location that can enable the development of a major mixed-use development and new public space. Current proposals for the site are 173 low density, car oriented houses with a small landscaped riverside path. This would represent an enormous missed opportunity to capitalise on this strategic site to provide a high level of quality homes, relieving pressure on housing quotas.

I propose a major mixed-use development, in three phases, along the length of the site (including the retail units), as well as a new major riverside park (green); look out for a future post. Phase one (red), will consist of around of 350 new homes, retail/commercial/leisure space as well as a new public square facing onto the park with a thoroughfare to a new crossing at Grafton Way, connecting to Quadling Street.

The Scheme

Four residential blocks ranging from 5-10 storeys will sit on a mixed-use podium with the ‘tower’ element defining the entrance to the the new thoroughfare and park from Grafton Way. This pedestrian street will be connected to Cardinal Park via a new crossing along with public realm improvements. A wider path along the main road as well new and retained trees will improve the quality of the streetscape, while a variety of uses at ground floor will activate the frontage.

Views from Grafton Way. Red lines – Indicative adjacent proposals, subject to change.

A new public space will open up onto the park with space for events, such as performances or markets. A larger two storey unit will be the anchor of this phase, suitable for a large pub/brewery or food hall, while other spaces are suitable for a range of uses, from healthcare to small shops, providing active frontages.

The Architecture

For such a prominent site, any high density development will be extremely visible, as such, the architecture of the development has to be of a high quality. The main design rationale is an organised grid structure arranged in two bays per ground floor opening. Every unit will have access to at least one private balcony, as well as terraced roof gardens.

The materials:
1. Two types of buff brick cladding
2. Green glazed brick
3. Bronze anodised aluminium window and balcony detailing

The Riverside Park

There will be a new post for this in the future, but as seen in the first image of this post, a major riverside park will be the heart of the Grafton Way developments. Connecting the train station to the waterfront as well as providing a brand new public space for those who live in and around the town centre.

*Note – All images are likely to be updated in the future

All content by Jordan Wright Architecture