The Galleries is a former Victorian asylum, set within extensive grounds and situated in a prominent position in Brentwood in Essex. Being Grade 2 listed, its historic buildings comprise an important part of the local urban fabric. City & Country Residential recognised its potential and is currently converting the existing buildings into a high-quality, residential development incorporating 130 apartments. Liz Lake Associates was commissioned to develop conceptual design ideas for the external landscape.
A detailed survey was undertaken of all existing trees within the site, noting those protected by Tree Preservation Orders which were to be retained within the development design. A design strategy was then conceived to create a sensitive yet stunning landscape to surround the historic buildings.
Important trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders, have been retained within the development design to enhance external spaces. The existing core buildings, combined with the new extensions and underground parking, have created eight courtyard spaces. The design philosophy was to give each courtyard a distinct character while maintaining a harmonious feel to the overall proposals. Two courtyards have been restored close to the original historic design, while the remainder are contemporary in style.