Who is the developer/client of the project?
Describe the context of this project and its contribution to the urban life and user experience of the place in 250 words max. and please upload an image of the project in its wider context or a drawing that best situates the project in its location.
Reading has a deep and rich history. Built by the Romans, who used the two rivers for trade, the Station Hill masterplan carves new routes into this historic town. Lincoln MGT, a joint venture between Lincoln Property Company and MGT Investment Management, have brought forward the opportunity for this site to be more than just another town centre development. Station Hill will bring a new and energetic identity to the town in a masterplan centred around people, place and life.
Located just steps away from Reading’s mainline train station, Station Hill is nestled between the railway and the high street. The site, previously home to a 25,000 sqm shopping centre, 6,000 sqm 1960s office and 18,000 sqm NCP carpark, will be transformed into a vibrant, mixed-use community.
The design of the project is being overseen by an international collective that features CallisonRTKL acting as the project masterplanner and architect for the residential buildings; Gensler as the architect for the commercial office buildings and LDA Design as landscape architects for the public realm. The masterplan will bring a thriving heart to Reading - a mixed-use ecosystem for people to live, work, play, visit, shop and stay. Working closely with the broader team, we will create a public realm inspired by the joining of Readings rivers – flow of people, eddies of calm and breaks in the current for events.
Please describe your approach to this future place and its mix of uses. How will it function as a vibrant place? How does it knit into, and serve the needs of, the wider area? 250 words max. Please attach a detailed masterplan that shows the mix of uses and public spaces.
The ambition for Station Hill is to deliver a best-in-class regeneration project creating a new gateway for Reading. CRTKL’s masterplan comprises up to 625,000 sq. ft state of the art office space, 750 private and affordable homes, and over 60,000 sq. ft of new lifestyle-led retail and leisure space, including potential for a 200-bed hotel and later living accommodation, and two acres of public realm. This will deliver a new and improved gateway to Reading, a space that will play host to a series of curated, community-focused events – winter ice-skating, autumn food markets, spring flower shows and summer concerts.
The sense of belonging and identity has been curated to deliver a unique connection with the masterplan, visually and physically connecting the balconies, apartments, amenity, lobby and the front door– people want to stay in a place they connect to.
Station Hill’s office component, One Station Hill, will go beyond the traditional regional office space by offering rooftop amenities with terraces, bar, and lounge; direct access to 95,000 sq. ft of independent retail, leisure, and F&B, all creating a desirable working environment.
The Station Hill masterplan has been crafted around life, designed to uphold the importance of place – with density comes people, and with people, comes the opportunity for lively experiential interactions. Working in close collaboration with our client, we are creating a memorable and inspiring backdrop to let the people become the colour and energy of the scheme.
How will the carbon use/material impact of the development of this new place be mitigated? What is the sustainability strategy? 250 words max. Please attach an image or drawing of the project that supports your statement.
This mixed-use development will be truly sustainable. The scheme benefits from its position, adjacent to a major main-line train station, it is extremely well connected – the launch of the Elizabeth Line within the next year will strengthen Reading’s connection to central London. Our masterplan prioritises pedestrian movement and is integrated into the local cycling network, with limited car parking facilities, encouraging active travel methods through the town.
Simple principles are followed when designing the buildings:
• A form-to-fabric approach that minimises / eliminates CO2 emissions in-use.
• High-quality spaces that do not overheat.
• Environments that minimise intervention by engineering systems.
• Reduction in water consumption in construction and use.
• Minimal material waste.
A range of passive and active energy efficiency measures are employed including:
• Limiting the amount of solar gain to facades, with commercial spaces modelled to optimise daylight whilst minimising gain
• Sizing residential windows in response to aspect, orientation, and solar gain.
• Use of high performance, heavily insulated facades on the residential buildings.
• Use of solar panels.
• Use of efficient mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery in homes.
• All electric heating in Phase 1 homes, benefiting from the de-carbonisation of the electricity grid.
• Provision for connecting Phase 2 Air Source Heat Pump network with the Phase 3 Energy network.
The supporting document details our BREEAM reports for the development, currently on track for a BREEAM Excellent rating.
providing views into the Grade II Listed structure of Liverpool Street Stat
What do you see as the greatest contribution of this project to the citizens of this future place and its surrounding areas? You may also attach an additional image or document to support your entry.
The community benefits of Station Hill are vast. We focus on four headlines that demonstrate how the wider neighbourhood will benefit from the improved connectivity, new residents, workers, and additional spending which will all contribute to the wider area.
Greater holistic connectivity
Through the masterplan we have created ambient routes through the heart of Reading town centre, connecting the railway and high street and encouraging active travel.
The residential population increase delivered by the completed development is estimated to be up to 2,590 people, +18% on the existing population of the local ward and +1.6% at a district level. This increase will add vibrancy, spending power and vitality to the heart of Reading. The population will be accommodated in the new homes in Phases 1 and 3, which are predominantly build- to-rent plus a proportion of affordable housing.
The completed development will generate employment through the provision of up to 88,541 sqm of commercial floorspace, delivering approximately 6,330 full-time jobs through their commercial use. Jobs will also be created from car-parking and residential uses. It is estimated that employment opportunities in the area will increase by 4.2% - 6.1%.
The direct effect of additional employment and new homes are estimated to generate spending of between £17.5 and £30.3 million each year. Employees’ spending is estimated to equate between £12.4 and £17.8 million per year. With a central location in town, it is expected that a significant proportion of this spending would be captured locally.