World renowned architect Professor Robert Adam on his work at Alderley Park
PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 April 2018
'A lot of architects design to impress other architects but that is not my aim,' says Professor Robert Adam. 'It is fantastic having these clean, crisp images of what a property is going to look like. But, for me, it is best when you see people living in the homes.
‘They will put things outside their doors, or they will make little changes. I once went back to one of the properties I’d designed and the owners had made some wonderful additions. I enjoyed seeing it. For me, when the residents move in, that’s when a property really comes to life.’
The internationally renowned architect has worked on major private houses, extensions to historic buildings and public and commercial projects including at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, The Oval Cricket Ground in London and the Millennium Gate in Atlanta, America. He seized the opportunity to work with Cheadle developers PH Homes on Alderley Park, a luxury residential development in Alderley Edge.
‘I worked with PH Homes some time ago on another project and they are a great company to be involved with,’ said Professor Adam. ‘I am delighted to have worked creatively with them and helped them further their commitment to design quality.
‘Together, we have created a variety of traditional homes with all the most modern facilities. Alderley Park is a great opportunity to make a place with its own distinctive character in a fine historic parkland setting.’
Alderley Park, once the site of the now relocated AstraZeneca, will soon be home to The Ride, a collection of detached and semi-detached homes adjoining a cricket pitch, walled garden and mature trees; Cedar Square, Georgian townhouses and semi-detached homes and The Serpentine, a group of six-bedroom villas, named after the winding body of water that marks the southern boundary.
The properties will be filled with the classic, traditional styling Professor Adam is renowned for, as well as the facilities and commodities needed for modern life. But the luxury development will also create a new community in this beautiful corner of Cheshire. Alongside the country estate’s walled gardens, ornamental lakes, ponds and arboretum, consent has been granted for a gastro pub, farm shop and newly constructed sporting facilities with a gym, squash and tennis courts.
Professor Adam is particularly enthused by the topography and history of the site. Alderley Park can be traced back to the Domesday Book and in the 16th century became the home of the Stanleys – a family who famously took the crown from Richard III’s head and placed it on Henry VII’s at Bosworth Field.
The original great hall was destroyed by fire in 1779 but Alderley House was built in its place, along with the current walled and water gardens. It has played host to powerful guests including Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and a young Winston Churchill. Another fire destroyed the mansion in 1931 and by 1939, the 6th Lord Stanley was forced to sell following two expensive divorces. It was bought by ICI and is now owned by Manchester Science Partnerships who are creating a BioHub with the new properties and superb leisure facilities. There is also an abundance of nature, including active badger setts, a large heronry, and more than 22 species of butterfly as well as a vast range of other flora and fauna.
‘To have a site where you already have this fantastic landscape and range of features is wonderful,’ said Professor Adam. ‘If you have a lot of fields, they can be developed but nothing is as good as having this established parkland with natural features.
‘When I first saw the site I thought it was really fantastic. I’m really excited to see how the homes develop over time and are used.’
For Phil Hughes, managing director of PH Homes, it is a thrill to see building work on the site after several years of planning. The development is the largest they have undertaken to date but Phil is relishing every moment.
‘Opportunities like this don’t happen every day,’ said Phil, who founded the business more than 20 years ago. ‘That first time I pulled onto the site, having only ever seen it from the road before, I was just blown away. I’d driven past so many times over the years and didn’t know what a wonderful place was there.
‘Few people can say they live in the surroundings of an historic country estate, fewer still are able to combine such superb surroundings with convenience. We’re providing exceptional homes working with Robert Adam.
‘We’re also providing a way of life, a certain lifestyle for people to enjoy themselves and be close to the facilities available in places nearby like Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Prestbury.
‘I think the proof of Alderley Park’s success will be when people are living there. I’m looking forward to seeing that happen.’w
For more information, go to phph.co.uk/alderley-park