American Express is the largest private employer within Brighton, and has operated there since the mid 1970’s. Their existing building is not able to meet the current demands of their business, so American Express looked to develop the site adjacent to this existing facility.
Their site lies in the historic centre of Brighton in an area first developed in Regency and early Victorian times and sits within the ‘Edward Street Quarter’, an area identified by Brighton and Hove City Council as an important location within the city requiring regeneration. The site is surrounded by a diverse mix of neighbouring properties and listed buildings, and can be clearly seen from sensitive heritage assets such as the Royal Pavilion. The site itself is set upon steep sloping ground which rises from the valley gardens.
From the outset it was clear that a change in working mindset would allow EPR to create an open, welcoming building, light of touch, vibrant and contextual. These principles sit well with the council’s aspirations to create exciting, active street frontages, be sympathetic to neighbouring properties, and provide a long term vision for the community through public realm spaces, open up routes through the site and enhance the local environment.