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Terence O’Rourke finalists in British Homes Awards 2021
Terence O’Rourke finalists in British Homes Awards 2021

Following on from success in the RTPI Awards, Terence O’Rourke and the Bournemouth Development Company have also been shortlisted for a British Homes Award in the category of ‘Development of the Year (20-100 units)’ for their work on the Tree Tops development in Bournemouth.


Treetops is a £12 million development of 46 apartments across two buildings, set sensitively in a constrained location in Bournemouth town centre. Delivered by the Bournemouth Development Company, this high-quality residential scheme offers open-market rental properties in a high-demand location, having been fully occupied within 12 weeks of becoming available.


The site, previously an underused council car park, was developed with a sensitive, multi-disciplinary design response, in an area of protected veteran trees with a nearby conservation area and historic buildings, negotiating a sloping, multi-levelled location.


The design process included detailed discussions with Historic England, the council’s conservation and tree officers, the Rector of nearby St Stephen’s church, design review panels, pre-applications, public consultation and stakeholder engagement, onsite planning board meetings as well as site assessments and extensive testing of development scenarios.


The design incorporates simple detailing with articulated facades through the use of stepped planes and large balconies to blend the buildings into the tree-lined boundary creating the background concept. An on-street active frontage together with restabilising the bank and retaining the historic wall was a key design objective. This was achieved through the stepped nature of the buildings through the different planes of the site and the use of basement construction and ground anchoring techniques. The resulting concept creates a development within a canopy of trees, which does not compete with its delicate surroundings and takes advantage of the sloping topography, offering spectacular views across Bournemouth town centre.


The British Homes Awards celebrate excellence in British homebuilding, honouring every aspect of housebuilding from architectural and interior design through to build quality and innovation, from one-off houses to major developments. The winners are due to be announced in November.