Make and RHWL’s landmark design for 350 apartments plus bars and hotel is ‘unlikely to go ahead’

Architect Ken Shuttleworth suffered a setback after his designs for a £120m scheme in the centre of Coventry were shelved.

His Make practice drew up a design last year for a hotel and residential development on the edge of the city centre, only for the developers to lose interest.

The scheme, Park Court, designed in conjunction with commercial firm RHWL, was to have included 350 apartments as well as bars, restaurants and at least one hotel on a three-acre site opposite Coventry railway station that is presently occupied by an Inland Revenue building.

The site is owned by Cassidy Developments, which has gone into a joint venture partnership with the Catesby Property Group. The two firms formed a third company, Park Court Properties, to handle the scheme. Make’s project leader for the scheme, John Prevc, said that the two architects’ proposals had been well received initially.

“We presented the scheme to the council last year and everyone loved it: it was quite radical and intended to be a signpost for the city. But then there was a lot of hemming and hawing and it all went very quiet.”

Coventry council confirmed that Make and RHWL design had stalled, commenting: “Unfortunately, their scheme seems unlikely to go ahead”.

Park Court Properties said it was taking the scheme forward with another architect, Midlands firm Turner Woolford Sharp. Make and RHWL won the first stage of the competition but TWS won the second stage.

Everyone loved it but then there was a lot of hemming and hawing and it all went quiet

John Prevc, Make project leader

The developer’s spokesperson said: “Make and RHWL won the first stage of the competition, but the second stage was more about deliverability. We felt TWS’ scheme pipped them at the post.”

The spokesperson added that the scheme, which now included a medical centre, was going to planning next month.

… but landmark Euston office gets green light

In better news for Make and RHWL, their design for a major office scheme in central London has received planning permission seven months ahead of schedule.

The partnership’s designs for a 266,000 ft2 office development in Hampstead Road near Euston were so well received by Camden council that the scheme, for developer Marylebone properties, has already been granted consent even though the team were not expecting to get it until November.

The Hampstead Road project was notable for being the last project in the UK of Korean architect Changsu Ryu, who worked for RHWL for three and a half years before being forced to return home by Home Office and Architects Registration Board regulations.