Funky Cheltenham office complex wins civic award

Forman House exterior

The developer behind a Cheltenham office building has won a Cheltenham Civic Award for its restoration.

Formal Investments, which owns Formal House on St George’s Place in the town, has won a Cheltenham Civic Award.

The developer is also close to completion of another major development in the town, with the first new build office development in Cheltenham for over 20 years, the 63,000 sq ft Honeybourne Place

The annual awards are made by Cheltenham Borough Council in association with Cheltenham Civic Society to encourage and recognise standards of excellence in the restoration of historic buildings and other improvements in Cheltenham’s built environment. Previous winners include; The Play House, Pittville Gates and Zizzi’s Restaurant.

Formal House development team

Formal House dates from the Victorian era when it was the depository forremoval and storage company Barnby Bendall & Co (1839-1976). In the 1980’s and 90’s it was divided into self-storage units and was also home to Pockets Snooker Club. The building has been transformed into contemporary urban office space with a new glass fronted extension, meeting rooms, a secure cycle store, changing facilities and breakout areas including a landscaped courtyard which doubles as event space.

Formal House interior 1

The panel of 12 assessors made up from community groups and three local architects reviewed 32 submissions for this year’s award. Their judgment was made on the quality of the conversion, how much it respects the character and structure of the original building, and that any additions respect the character of the original building.

Bruce Buchanan, Convenor of Civic Awards said the award was made to Formal House because the panel was impressed by; “The quality of detailing and the retention of existing features which gives a link to the past use of the building.” He commented; “It is obviously an attractive place to work. The new addition makes a fitting contrast to the original building”.

Formal House interior 2

Nicholas King, managing director of developers Formal Investments said, “We are delighted to receive this award and, that our goal of creating desirable and efficient work space while retaining the soul and character of this historic building has been recognised”.