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Proctor and Matthews Architects unveil Purley town centre redevelopment plans

Proctor and Matthews Architects unveil Purley town centre redevelopment plans

Proctor and Matthews Architects have submitted proposals for Mosaic Place: a major mixed use development in Purley. The development will provide 114 homes alongside new accommodation for Purley Baptist Church, shops, leisure and community facilities.

Proctor and Matthews Architects were appointed by The Thornsett Group (on behalf of Purley Baptist Church) to develop a masterplan for Mosaic Place across two brownfield sites in Purley. Proctor and Matthews’ Architects’ detailed proposals bring productive use to the larger town centre site, much of which has lain derelict for over 20 years. The proposed development features a landmark 17-storey tower: the only tall tower permitted in the Purley district under the Croydon Local Plan.

Proctor and Matthews Architects’s scheme contributes to the quality of the public realm, bringing a range of activities to the site. The base of the 11,354 sq.m development extends around the site as a brick plinth, within which shops and cafes create an active frontage. The warm red/brown brick used here reflects the dominant material of other local buildings, and forms a rhythmical colonnade of tall piers on the primary street elevation, marking the entrance to the church and community centre.

Three residential pavilion buildings, incrementally rising in scale and height towards the landmark tower, are connected by smaller residential blocks overlooking shared courtyard gardens containing children’s play space. A ‘campanile’ element faces the town centre, acting as a bookend and anchor to the tower. Herringbone brickwork provides interesting texture, and mimics existing brick patterns elsewhere in the Edwardian town centre.

The tower itself rises as a slender landmark, carefully positioned to respect neighbouring buildings and reinforce views. It has a deeply revealed cladding profile, taking its cue from adjacent window mullion detailing and hints at historic church window tracery. The lattice of mullions and transoms expands as the tower rises, eventually forming a triple height ‘crown’ at the top where the upper storeys are set back and ringed by a series of deep planters containing Scots pines – bringing additional texture and colour to the composition and looking out to the verdant hillsides surrounding Purley.

The basement level of the new Purley Baptist Centre contains a large multi-purpose sports hall: a flexible space suitable for a wide range of activities alongside kitchen and changing facilities. Above this at ground level sits a multipurpose double height auditorium – large enough to hold over 500 worshippers. It is anticipated that this space will also provide flexible performance space and a conference venue. The church’s baptistry extrudes into the brick colonnade, a sculptural element that interrupts the rhythm of the ground floor plinth and highlights the church’s presence. This level also contains a dedicated prayer room, a youth centre and café, a large lettable space which will also be used as teaching rooms by the church, and separate facilities for the Purley Cross Centre – a community outreach facility run by the Purley Baptist Centre. There is additional lettable space on the second floor.

Proctor and Matthews Architects’ proposals provide over 7,900 sq.m of residential accommodation, offering a mix of 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed apartments. 110 of the 114 units are dual aspect, and all apartments have private amenity space. 12 apartments are easily adaptable for wheelchair users.

Andrew Cadey, Director at Proctor and Matthews Architects, said:

“Our proposals for Mosaic Place respond to a complex brief by Purley Baptist Church, whose publicly minded approach to development aims to serve the local community. Together we have produced a generous scheme that brings a wide range of uses to the site, provides much-needed new homes, improves the public realm, and creates an elegant new landmark for Purley."