High Street Quarter in Hounslow is nearing completion, with Cineworld and a variety of restaurants newly opened. Designed by tp bennett for Barratt London and Wilson Bowden, the major town centre development represents a £210m investment in Hounslow and provides a new heart for the town.
The mixed-use scheme comprises 588 new homes, 41% of which are affordable, alongside new shops and restaurants and a multiscreen cinema to create a new evening economy, all laid out around a central square. This new town square is the key component of the development, providing a hub for cultural and social interaction.
The square has been designed with two distinct areas: the first is a semi-circular, secluded area designated for outdoor dining; the other a flexible space to accommodate a variety of uses, from cultural and religious festivals to seasonal sporting events, including kabaddi, a South Asian game popular in Hounslow. The development also features landscaped communal gardens and play areas at podium and roof levels.
Hounslow is a linear town, which has evolved over the years to feature a vibrant High Street but was missing an obvious place to mark its geographical centre. High Street Quarter has created an important new urban space, with the town square and improved pedestrian walkways connecting the High Street, Blenheim Centre and neighbourhoods on either side. A 27-storey tower within the development serves as a new local landmark.
Situated at the heart of the new town square is a new cinema, clad in gold tinted aluminium. Backlit at night, it is perforated in a complex pattern that reflects both the area’s links to light industry and its cultural diversity. These are represented by computer punchcard perforations superimposed over a traditional motif originating from the Indian subcontinent.
References to local cultural diversity continue into the facades of the apartment blocks, some of which take inspiration from Polish wycinanki (cut paper) patterns, while others mimic traditional North African fabric designs. This in turn creates distinctive and identifiable architecture that reinforces Hounslow’s intrinsic character, aids way-finding and subtly references the local people that interact with the public spaces.
The proposal was developed in conjunction with the London Borough of Hounslow and extensive public consultations with stakeholders and town centre groups. The one, two and three-bedroom homes are of mixed tenures including shared ownership and affordable rental units provided by affordable housing provider L&Q to meet the needs of the community. Different age groups and physical abilities are catered for, with adaptable units and large outdoor communal and public spaces. Homes enjoy secure, step-free access and are designed to achieve good levels of daylight and ventilation.
High Street Quarter benefits from excellent public transport links into central London and residents have access to dedicated storage for circa 1,000 cycles. Further sustainable travel is encouraged with dedicated car club spaces and electric charging spaces provided.
Chris Wieszczycki, Principal Director, tp bennett, said: “High Street Quarter provides the missing piece of the Hounslow jigsaw: a vibrant community space in the heart of the town. The scheme’s mixed-use offer responds to the increasing importance of town centres and high streets providing more than just a shopping experience and ensures that it meets the aspirations of current and future residents.”
Ed McCoy, Sales & Marketing Director for Barratt West London, commented: “With build nearing completion, it’s clear that High Street Quarter offers a real focus for residents in the Hounslow community, whilst tp bennett’s design perfectly encapsulates the cultural diversity of the area. Bucking the trend of shop closures across the UK following the pandemic, the 134,000 sq ft of commercial space has transformed the high street and will attract visitors from further afield, bringing key investment to the area and contributing to its wider regeneration.”