The vision for the site is a mixed-use development, focused on the Hippodrome as an innovative hospitality venue to breathe new life, vitality and vibrancy into the Grade II* listed building. We are using the historic environment as a key inspiration for delivering a dramatic, physical and economic transformation of this part of the Old Town Conservation Area.
The importance of the Hippodrome as a Grade II* listed building with a significant and distinctive space at its heart speaks for itself. It is also obviously a key building within the Old Town Conservation Area. Yet, perversely, it provides an urban contradiction to the area in terms of its scale, use, and architectural character. This, however, is not the only contradiction. The building is a massive structure whose Dome is unseen from the street. What can be seen through gaps in a fragmented streetscape demonstrate both unattractive views into the site and detract from the character of the Conservation Area, negating the sense of enclosure that characterises the Old Town’s street scene.
This project, in giving new life to the Hippodrome Restoration, also represents the opportunity to achieve a number of key urban design objectives, listed as follows:
- To reintroduce a once-popular and unique space that is currently completely inaccessible and neglected back into public use and play a major part in the fabric of the surrounding streets, community, and City.
- To facilitate, and agree with BHCC Conservation and Historic England, the appropriate restoration of the Hippodrome and Hippodrome House to their former glory for the maximum enjoyment of the City’s residents and visitors.
- To repair the fragmented streetscape with infill buildings that are sympathetic to the distinctive character of the Old Town Conservation Area to help enhance the character, quality and legibility of the street.
- To enable the improvement and enhancement of the public realm, streetscape and walking environment by introducing new active street-level frontages and entrances where possible.