Firepool Lock, Taunton
Crest Nicholson and Bray & Slaughter
Firepool Lock in Taunton formed part of a multi-million pound redevelopment project of the riverside town centre. The Firepool area had been underused and empty for over a decade when plans were finally approved to build new homes, shops, a cinema and much needed parking facilities. Taunton Deane Council’s ‘Project Taunton’ was one of the largest mixed-use masterplan regeneration schemes in the South West, creating in excess of 1,800 new jobs.
Firepool Lock, the first phase of the redevelopment, played an integral role in providing 100 new apartments and four townhouses to residents. Architects Stride Treglown worked with main contractors Crest Nicholson and Bray & Slaughter to design and build the three blocks alongside the Bridgwater and Taunton canal.
As part of the Firepool Lock development, a new public open space and landscaped private courtyard were created to integrate the new buildings into the peaceful waterfront setting. Each surrounding block was completed using a mix of traditional and contemporary materials, including facing bricks from Taylor Maxwell’s exclusive Select Range and fibre cement weatherboard cladding. Since its completion, the development has won the British Homes Awards 2019 ‘Development of the Year’ (under £10m).
It was important for the architects that the material palette complemented the natural surroundings of the existing canal-side brownfield site and newly landscaped gardens.
Working closely with the architects to understand their vision, Taylor Maxwell recommended their Grove Orange Multi brick, part of their exclusive Select range, along with a fibre cement weatherboard system for the two different sets of apartment blocks either side of the canal.
On one side, the Grove Orange Multi brick provides a striking contrast with the surrounding greenery. On the adjacent blocks, over 2,000 sqm of weatherboard in a natural timber shade was supplied to contrast with the crisp white rendered elevations, with the penthouse level clad entirely in timber with zinc standing-seam roofs. All materials reflect the sustainable nature of the site and provide a quality, contemporary finish for residents.
Taylor Maxwell’s select range comprises of 18 facing bricks, produced exclusively by industry leading manufacturers. The range includes a selection of stock, machine thrown and wirecut bricks in a variety of colours. These bricks are ideal for housing developments and work well with a range of other facade materials such as fibre cement planks.
Fibre cement planks are a highly durable and low maintenance material, with a range of colours and textures available to match with other materials such as brick and masonry. They can be used to clad whole elevations or incorporated to add interesting design features.
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