'Tree Tops' St Stephen’s Road
Bournemouth Town Centre

Client: Bournemouth Development Company

  • Architecture

  • Town planning

Following on from the award-winning project of the Citrus residential development, Terence O’Rourke acted once more for The Bournemouth Development Company (a partnership between BCP Council and Muse Developments)  as architects and town planning consultants in developing the £12million Treetops development.  This development provides 46 high quality Build-to-Rent homes across two buildings with a mix of 1 to 3-bedroom apartments. 

The development had many challenges to overcome from the adjacent Grade I listed St Stephen’s Church, the neighbouring conservation area and the complex sloping topography of the site surrounded by protected and veteran trees.  The concept was to create a development that did not compete with its delicate surroundings, whilst taking advantage of the sloping topography.  The buildings needed to maximise the available development area and sit neatly within the protected tree-lined boundary, whilst providing an attractive and modern development for the community.

The practice led a sensitive multi-disciplinary design response, involving detailed site assessments and testing development scenarios to assess impacts. The process included detailed discussions with Historic England, the council’s conservation and tree officers and the Rector of St Stephen’s Church. Public exhibition material and visualisations were prepared to illustrate a sensitive and high-quality ‘background’ residential development concept.

The outcome was the creation of a high-quality development comprising two residential flat blocks to maximise the use of the site’s topography, whilst minimising its overall bulk and mass to reduce the impact on the neighbouring context.  The articulated facades and the use of a muted colour palette of materials helps blend the 6 and 7-storey buildings into the tree-lined boundary.  The development fully respects its sensitive setting, retains the majority of trees and provides landscape enhancement.