City Living


By Craig Cullimore

City centre locations are becoming an increasingly popular choice for modern living but require developers to consider new ways of maximising the use of city centre space


Today 83% of people in the UK live in urban environments, a rising percentage that reflects a global trend. Lifestyle factors such as the convenience of being able to walk to work, leisure, shopping and cultural facilities, combined with the social interaction brought about by high density living, makes the city centre a vibrant and attractive place to live.

Demand for this ‘city-centre’ experience from young professionals who can’t afford to buy a home until they are in their early 30s, has resulted in the growth of property in the private rented sector.

In mature cities like Oxford, development sites for city centre housing are few and far between. Last year however, ADP completed an exciting project to convert a centrally-located 1960s office building into light-filled compact flats with a contemporary penthouse rooftop extension. Their central location means that residents will be within walking distance of the shops, restaurants and other facilities that Oxford has to offer.

The development created 15 apartments by cleverly exploiting every inch of usable space. Our design for the compact flats incorporates a separate bedroom and windows into a floor area of just 35sqm, creating deceptively spacious places to live, which maximise the potential of the available space.


The integration of winter gardens into the flats enables the bedroom to be positioned at the back of the apartments, so that the lounge and bedroom benefit from natural light and ventilation, both of which contribute to better wellbeing. This configuration also reduces noise penetration from the surrounding city streets. A neutral colour scheme and floor to ceiling glazing also increases the feeling of spaciousness, with space maximised by built-in storage and loose furniture.

The rooftop extension provides three-bedroom penthouse apartments with their own private terraces. Slots in the zinc cladding gives the tenants of the two penthouse apartments views of some of Oxford’s most significant historic buildings.

‘It’s rare to find such a well-considered development in such a central position and we have been delighted with how well they have been received.” Greg Barnes, Managing Director Lettings, Brecon and Brecon.

The Alfred Street development provides the city with much-needed additional residential units and means a new community of residents will benefit from the much sought after city centre location.

This is one of a number of residential projects that we have delivered in Oxford city centre. We are also working on a several schemes in the county including affordable housing and mixed use development at Heyford Park, and the development of an Eco-town.



Craig Cullimore

Craig Cullimore

Craig joined ADP in 1997. With diverse experience of a range of building
types in both the public and private sectors, Craig is particularly
adept at working on projects
within sensitive locations.