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Praecedo – Phase 2, Colchester

All Case Studies

Challenge

Create modern housing for the Praecedo project, which is part of a major redevelopment of the historic Colchester Garrison, home to the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment until 2006. The current phase of development is part of a much larger scheme that includes the refurbishment of historic garrison buildings. When complete, it will provide a total of more than 2500 new homes of exceptional character and charm, in keeping with the town’s rich history.

Solution

Arguably the oldest town in Britain, Colchester was the capital of Roman Britain until being destroyed by Boudica’s armies in 60 AD, and still boasts Roman walls, a Norman castle and Tudor weaver’s cottages amongst its rich architectural heritage.

Thus the developer, Taylor Wimpey East London, worked with local architects Traer Clarke, to create modern high-quality homes that not only sit comfortably within this historic environment, but reflect Colchester’s rich military history. The development includes 1 & 2 bed apartments and 2, 3 and 4 bed terraces and houses has been named Praecedo, Latin for ‘surpass’ or ‘excel’, in a nod to the town’s famous heritage.

The energy efficient homes reflect a range of styles, with terraces of 2.5 storey cottages, complete with classic stone portico entrances, dormer windows and stone detailing to window sills and headers recreating the style of the old weavers cottages; imposing red brick 3-storey semis and terraces after the style of the garrison’s former military hospital, and more modern designs that weave together arts and crafts influences with the half- timbered style of many of the town’s oldest surviving buildings.

Whilst areas of cream render feature strongly in the more modern designs, brick has been chosen as the primary facing material, both to reflect the local vernacular and provide a high-quality sustainable finish to draw together the various disparate designs.

The architect has chosen a limited palette of red and cream in keeping with the historic theme. The rich yellow and buff hues of Ibstock’s Leicester Multi Cream Stock bricks, broken by the stone headers and sills and other occasional stone details, contrast perfectly with the dark greys and blacks of the roof slates and window frames, on the imposing 3-storey terraces.

On the more modern arts and crafts designs, the red distressed finish of Ivanhoe Olde Village is matched with plinths of Laybrook Parham Red and cream render panels to recreate a village aesthetic, whilst the deep red sand-faced finish of Laybrook Parham Red sits perfectly with the traditional stonework features of the terraced cottages.