Feethams leisure development is a new multi-million pound complex that was developed by property development and investment company, Urban & Civic PLC, and championed by Darlington Borough Council, with the goal of establishing Feethams as a thriving and successful part of the wider Darlington area. Due to the nature of the mixed use development, hard landscaping was an important aspect of the design process for appointed architect, Niven Architects, and Tobermore helped make the job much easier with the provision of Mayfair Flags – a contemporary paving solution.
The Feethams complex offers a Premier Inn hotel, a state-of-the-art cinema, a number of well-known branded restaurants and outlets including Prezzo, Hungry Horse and Subway, as well as office accommodation.
Peter Hodges, Director at Niven Architects, explained the aims of the scheme: “The objectives were to promote the Darlington area as a revitalised leisure and office destination together with appropriate car parking and provide long overdue leisure facilities for the local community and surrounding areas.”
The decision on hard landscaping products was relatively easy for the architect as aesthetics were incredibly important on this project, and so, paving was the best hard landscaping solution. Peter commented: “As an urban town centre, a variety of texture and tone was required via the use of a palette of products suitable for the environment.”
Peter explained that the choice of paving had to work with the landscape design vision for the site: “The design concept was required to be functional and resilient to regular pedestrian use which meant that hard landscaping was predominately needed to meet functional requirements, though this was softened through the incorporation of tree planters and planting alongside stairs and ramps.”
Tobermore’s North East Sales team presented Niven Architects with a variety of paving options for consideration and Mayfair Flags together with complementary Mayfair Step Flags with delineation markings as a step solution proved to be the ideal choice.
Mayfair Flags and Mayfair Step Flags are manufactured with a granite aggregate surface layer that produces a striking, modern look similar to natural granite. A combination of Mayfair Flags in the vibrant colours of Silver, Sandstone and Graphite and Mayfair Step Flags in Silver were specified and integrated together as part of a contemporary laying pattern used to define different areas within the complex.
Commenting as to why Tobermore products were specified, Peter said: “The paving specification was a joint decision between ourselves and the main contractor, McLaughlin & Harvey. Tobermore’s Mayfair Flags met the specification as well as being commercially competitive.”
Peter continued: “The installation of the paving flags was quite complex as the products are installed on pedestals on the podium so effectively there was a drainage medium under the slabs which had to be managed.”
The project was completed in 2016 and earned great praise. Simon Hawkins, Development Director with Urban & Civic commented: “The buzzing Feethams development is one that we were all incredibly proud of. The complex will be a prime destination to all with so many new dining choices.”
Peter Hodges concluded: “We were really pleased with the results of the project and it was received exceptionally well by residents and Darlington Council.
“We had no complaints about our dealings with Tobermore – the aesthetics of the paving products supplied and the service provided was excellent."