The scheme consisting of 20 flats is proposed to replace the derelict Playhouse cinema on the Sandgate, adjacent to the Quay Walls in Berwick-Upon-Tweed. The Playhouse mediates between the modest scale of the Georgian buildings on the Sandgate and the tall buildings of the Walls. The Playhouse’s scale, with its central pediment, also has an important role in framing, with the gables and opposite, the view down the Sandgate and out past the Walls.
A newbuild residential development is proposed, of an urban scale capable of building-up to the adjacent Wall buildings, based around closes and intimate courts of a traditional pattern, and topped by a pattern of pitched roofs.
Berwick’s courtyards, at their best, are intimate spaces that promote community and neighbourliness. The proposed “Playhouse Court” is on a through-route, with closes enlivening both Sandgate and Drivers Lane. The development’s two access stairs, up to the upper floor flats, coincide with the closes, and their common landings and access balconies have seating spaces and planters to encourage occupation and decorate the courtyard.
The proposal aims to create a dense, but neighbourly, modern residential development that sits well with its surroundings. The appearance of the building will build on the existing traditional forms and patterns of Berwick, but aims to be modern in expression.