The client brief was for a residential conversion of three school buildings in Eastbourne at the former Roedean Moira House School along with the surrounding landscape to provide 18 houses and 33 apartments. The scheme was exhibited for public consultation with the local residents and received very positive feedback before planning proceeded.
Ecotecture has been working alongside our client and liaising with planners, local residents, former teachers, and local groups to sympathetically develop the former boarding school, which closed its doors in August 2020. The property was later sold to our client who had plans to convert the site to a residential scheme while retaining the historical buildings located on-site.
Our client came to us with the goal of developing the historic buildings into a residential scheme that will preserve their heritage and provide a social hub for the local community, therefore, the design concept was heritage-led. It was designed to emulate the existing architecture of the area, inspired by the local vernacular with an exotic twist by the introduction of strongly gothic-influenced front facades on the new builds.
To this end, we have made multiple design scheme iterations, apartment and house plans, and calculations to arrive at a carefully considered scheme that addresses a number of current and future issues that the site could have, ranging from energy consumption to material durability. Because of this, Ecotecture has made every possible effort to put the community at the forefront of our decision-making process through all the stages we have taken to reach our current proposal.
Our intention has been to improve the area by providing a relatively car-free site that tries to encourage the residents to live a more active lifestyle and breed a better sense of community among the prospective residents. One of the challenges was designing for the steeply sloping site, another was retaining as many trees as possible and ensuring all houses have sizeable gardens. The new builds were designed to be carbon neutral and include renewable energy, solar panels, and air source heat pumps. They were designed using the ‘fabric first’ approach, meaning they had to be highly insulated first before you look at the energy systems.
For this project we have completed the RIBA Stages 1-3.
Stage 1 - Preparation & Brief
Stage 2 - Concept Design
Stage 3 - Spatial Coordination
Images courtesy of Glass Canvas