Oxford Gardens, Bournemouth

The proposal scheme, now named Oxford Gardens, seeks to deliver 447 high quality ‘Build to Rent’ homes with private amenity and a high quality new public realm that will be accessible by all. In the UK, millennials form the largest group in today’s workforce. This is also the demographic who are struggling to raise the deposit to enter into the property market and as result a high percentage are choosing to rent. This millennial population, who are often exiting managed student accommodation or the family home, value flexibility, community and access to lifestyle amenities.

The emergence of the flexible co-working culture also ties into a live-work philosophy, with proximity, amenity, culture and cost being a highest priority. Bournemouth has a high population of millennials, both those having grown up in the area, but also the graduate generation who have come from the student accommodation rental schemes and it is important that they are encouraged and given the opportunity to remain in Bournemouth. These younger independents tend to be open to modern rental options that provide better design and security of tenancy. The Oxford Gardens proposal sets out to provide purpose built rental accommodation and community creation for this millennial demographic.

The massing of the proposed scheme has been carefully considered within both its immediate and broader context. We believe the articulation of height is well informed by the surrounding tall buildings in the area and the positioning of the scheme allows for slender and well articulated views of the scheme.

On approach along Oxford Road, the scheme responds to the streetscape with articulated frontage whilst also maintaining a generous public realm offering. These two aspects, both built form and open space, are carefully balanced to create an appropriate level of site density without compromising its ability to offer much needed pedestrian relief set back from the public highway.

One of the key design moves when developing the Oxford Gardens scheme was to try and introduce a much needed green public ‘dwell’ space adjacent to Oxford Road. Recent large developments within the Lansdowne area have, in the main, maximised development potential by building right up to their boundary lines, leaving little in terms of public space or green space that can be enjoyed by those working, living or passing though the area. As a result, the Lansdowne area and Oxford Road in particular has become a noticeably hard streetscape, lacking in greenery and lacking in attractive public space to relax and enjoy.

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