A previously vacant 1960s office block in the centre of Reading is now a mix of 103 high quality riverside apartments. LOM’s scheme to convert Kennet House for Crest Nicholson successfully gained planning permission in December 2013 and has now been developed and delivered by Crest Nicholson’s own design and construction team.
The proposals retain the existing concrete frame and a contemporary external skin gives the building a new lease of life. Four additional storeys have been added, anchoring the prominent corner and tying the building into the urban massing as the city centre transitions from residential to CBD, to create apartments with exceptional views across Reading, the River Kennet and beyond.
A new core resolved challenges of loading and unit configuration by allowing for a larger overall building area and penthouse apartments. The massing of the existing building was expressed by treating the new floors with a lightweight rain screen cladding and horizontal eaves detail – in contrast to the render at lower levels.
Resident’s moving into Kennet House will benefit from excellent transport connections and nearby shopping, commercial and educational facilities. One, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses are available for sale through Crest Nicholson. The development also includes 10 affordable homes for shared ownership through housing association, Stonewater.