Jestico and Whiles given green light to create leisure district in abandoned air base

We honestly believe that there is currently no other comparable development in the UK in terms of the features and designs this scheme will deliver
– James Dilley, head of hospitality and interior design at Jestico + Whiles

Architecture studio Jestico + Whiles’ plans to transform a disused air base in Oxfordshire, UK, into a leisure district has been given the green light by the local council.

According to the design team, the complex – located in the village of Upper Heyford – will be like no other in the country due to its typological flexibility and historic reference points.

Cherwell District Council have approved the project, and an estimated 12-month construction schedule is set to begin in the New Year.

The design will repurpose two former buildings – occupied at different times by both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) – using contrasting, modern materials to extend the spaces, making them more suitable for communal use. Facilities will include an American style brasserie, a boutique hotel, a delicatessen and market hall, a café and brunch bar, two terraces, external seating, co-working spaces, play areas and a landscaped garden.

“Our vision is to create an exciting sustainable hub for enterprise, culture and living,” said Paul Silver, CEO of project developer Dorchester Living. “We're re-imaging how a village should look and feel, and by pushing the boundaries of the buildings purpose, design and materials, we're creating great community spaces that people can be proud of and inspired to use. We want these buildings and spaces to stand the test of time and that was integral to our planning.”

James Dilley, head of hospitality and interior design at Jestico + Whiles, added: “We honestly believe that there is currently no other comparable development in the UK in terms of the features and designs this scheme will deliver.

“Above all, our proposal for the village centre of Heyford Park is about placemaking, in part through reference to the rich context of this beautiful part of Oxfordshire and the layers of history on this site, not least the refurbishments of the heritage buildings of the former USAF base.”

Jestico + Whiles have worked on a number of major urban regeneration schemes involving the refurbishment of historic buildings, including Spitalfields and Borough Market in London.

Jestico and Whiles  Upper Heyford  Dorchester Living  architecture  design 
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Architecture studio Jestico + Whiles’ plans to transform a disused air base in Oxfordshire, UK, into a leisure district has been given the green light by the local council. According to the design team, the complex – located in the village of Upper Heyford – will be like no other in the country due to its typological flexibility and historic reference points. Cherwell District Council have approved the project, and
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Two former air base buildings will be repurposed and filled with leisure facilities / Jestico + Whiles
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