Lewes House


The Lewes House project was a competition bid for the redevelopment of a significant back land site owned by Lewes District Council with a call for new housing to be formed around a new library for the town of Lewes. A local consortium was assembled under the banner of Creative Partnerships which aimed to put the interests of local residents first in the formation of the scheme proposals.

This scheme integrates the library and housing to create a holistic urban structure. The existing stepped parking levels are used to form the library and allowed a public space to rise over this volume in a series of terraces, steps and ramps. This expansive public space will erode any sense of this site being perceived as a ‘back lot’. It would afford views across the Ouse River Valley and be enlivened by frontages of live / work housing and perhaps a cafe. Vehicular access uses the existing routing, and at no point will it cross the pedestrian zone of the piazza. Parking would be provided for Lewes House and a car pooling scheme only. Each flat has a significant roof terrace or garden. The existing heavily wooded ‘Level’ would be enlarged for public use and children’s playground.

Unlocking the Potential
The vision for the site composed of the following elements:

  • A respect for the history, archaeology and landscape, for the ecology and siting
  • A strong feeling that the site should remain a public space in perpetuity
  • To strive for a development that takes advantage of the existing urban grain and distinctive character of the site and its surroundings
  • To integrate living and working, private apartments and affordable homes
  • To create a kind of ‘community campus’ in which the library becomes the centre of a range of linked facilities
  • To build a lively mix of workshops, studios, and other public facilities to create a diverse area of creative activity
  • To link the site together with integrated digital networks
  • To create an area free of the car but with appropriate and necessary vehicular access
  • To make special areas that offer safe adventure and play for children
  • To further enhance the existing public realm creating a series of distinct three dimensional environments
  • To preserve the splendid views from the site and to enhance the existing tree cover
  • To build using sustainable principles and local materials
  • To enter into this project in a spirit of creative collaboration, which emphasises cooperation, flexibility and adaptation
Master Planning