Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth

Project description

Historic Gunwharf Quays has been transformed from a former naval depot into an award winning mixed use space comprising high quality retail, leisure and residential units, located by the picturesque harbour in the heart of Portsmouth city.

The site has undergone significant physical regeneration. Almost a decade in the making, Gunwharf is now considered one of the most desirable locations for living and working in the South East, and has had tremendous economic and social impact on the local community and beyond.

The project was conducted by:

  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Berkeley Homes Southern

And a number of architecture firms including:

  • Broadway Malyan Architects
  • Scott Brownrigg
  • Gilmore Hankey Kirke
  • PLC Architects
  • The Amos Partnership
  • John Thompson & Partners
  • HGP Architects

Aims and objectives

Project Start Date and End Date

The project began in 1998 and ended in 2008

Services offered

Gunwharf Quays offers a wide range of facilities and services, serving both the local and regional communities.  The site, geographically separated by the canal, is divided into two main aspects; the residential and the shopping/ leisure area which makes up the majority of the development.

The residential development is a well designed community centred space, incorporating private and affordable units suitable for both families and young professionals. As a mixed-use housing scheme, it provides accommodation ranging from luxury one bedroom flats to family orientated town houses. It also features a number of high quality designed spaces including mini courtyards and plazas.

The retail units have been incredibly successful, comprising a mix of high street names and designer outlets attracting shoppers from across the region.

The Wharf complex also boasts a range of Marina facilities including luxury boats as well as walkways leading to local restaurants and cafes.

The development also includes high- quality landscaped plazas and open spaces for the public and a number of architecturally impressive buildings including the former Customs House and Vulcan Building.

Gun Wharf Quays by day
Gun Wharf Quays by day

Success factors

Ariadne building located in the development
Ariadne building located in the development

Risk factors

Business/operational model

The outline planning application for the development was submitted in 1997 to Portsmouth City Council (the planning authority.)  The detailed plans included several important regulations for the development including certain restrictions on the heights of potential commercial and residential buildings, in keeping with the current landscape/ skyline.  Similarly, the plans also specified the restoration rather than the demolition of some historic buildings including the boundary walls, dating back from the 1870s and the Vulcan Building.

Financing and delivery/procurement

The Berkeley group are the main partners responsible for financing the development in partnership with the Portsmouth City council. Certain elements were grant aided by the Millennium Commission.

Measurement and Monitoring

Future developments

The project was completed in 2008 but has been the impetus for other regeneration projects in the city.

Living places in action

Contact details

John Slater
Head of Planning Services

Portsmouth Planning Service
T.  02392834297
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