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Dragon Leisure approached PNW Studios to design a new-build A3 restaurant premises on St Nicholas Street in Ipswich town centre. The brownfield site is surrounded by historic buildings ranging from 15th century timber-framed structures to red brick Edwardian houses, and therefore required a highly sensitive design response. An early decision was taken to divide the broad street frontage in two, creating a pair of ‘properties’ that would complement the scale and grain of the local streetscape. The jostle of existing building styles has been continued by expressing the new structure in both masonry and timber-frame with render. A gable-ended roof is employed on one side of the building where a pedestrian footpath provides access to government offices. This not only provides a visual book-end to the development, but also emphasises the transition from pavement to footpath. Internally and behind the street frontages, PNW was able to apply its extensive knowledge of the requirements of A3 restaurant use to ensure that the shell buildings would meet the requirements of future tenants.

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