Eurocity, a mixed-use scheme in Gibraltar of three towers containing 364 residential units above a publicly accessible landscaped podium containing retail restaurants and parking has been granted outline planning consent.
Gibraltar Development & Planning Commission planning policies designated the Europort area for high-rise developments as part of a strategy to preserve, and relieve development pressures, from The Old Town. The new scheme is designed to create a high density hub in the centre of this area's desginated development zone.
The Gibraltar Development & Planning Commission are keen to promote high standards of design and public realm regardless of the size of development. It further emphasises that good design benefits Gibraltar not only by creating an attractive environment in which to live and work, but can also have a positive effect on maintaining confidence and most importantly attracting further investment. The scheme therefore concentrates on real 'place making' at street level, adding publicly accessible amenity space at ground levels of the podium whilst providing mainly lower cost one bedroom and studio flats in well designed towers.
Approached from The Old Town along Europort Avenue visitors and residents are welcomed by an active frontage of retail units, workplace facilities and a large landscaped courtyard with public access to the podium. The courtyard connects to a series of walkways that weave around retail units, a cooling courtyard and resting spaces linking the site to neighbouring developments like Eurotowers, WestOne and Europort Road.
Eurocity’s approach to materiality lies in a simple mix of traditional and contemporary materials, influenced by either the local vernacular or practicality and low maintenance over the buildings lifetime.
The elevated landscaped podium is finished in white render a traditional material selected for its similarity to the neighbouring Chilton Court and Edinburgh House. The white render finish also assists in emphasising the sculptural form of the podium, where its form has been carefully considered to allow a varying degree of interaction at each level.
This is combined with inverted expanded aluminium mesh and planting to create an attractive façade to parking levels and for adjacent buildings, providing much improved public realm, a neat solution to satisfying Gibraltar Development Plan’s concerns with unattractive frontages and compromised public realm at ground levels. In addition, the inverted expanded aluminium mesh has been selected for its ability to reduce glare and light pollution in the evening.
Eurocity will create an active and vibrant hub in this part of Gibraltar on a part of reclaimed land that has yet to be developed and detailed planning application work is now beginning.