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Image:Simon Hadley

Downing Students City Village

Earthy and airy

Rachel Haugh, one of the name-givers of SimpsonHaugh, has noted that there are two vital requirements for the design of a high-rise. One is to ensure it is well-connected on street level, and the other that it adds something to the skyline. This might be true in general, but in the case of the 20-storey complex of Belgrade Plaza in Coventry, it is equally important what happens architecturally in between the bottom and the top. The complex Haugh and Ian Simpson designed as part of the urban regeneration of the area near the Belgrade Theatre is situated in the northwestern part of the centre of Coventry. The city has endured a massive destruction during the Second World War and has subsequently been rebuilt in the 1950s and 60s in a tepid, reconciliatory style, combining concrete and brick.