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Urban Design Compendium

Brunswick Town, Hove (001)

001 - Learning from the past Learning from the pastLe 

Brunswick Town in Hove is one of the best examples of Regency planning and urban design in the country. It was developed between 1824 and 1840 as a mini town, with a range of housing types and a mix of uses to cater for the wealthy upper and middle classes and those who would supply the goods and services they needed. The clear hierarchy of streets comprises a formal square with prestigious housing, smaller homes along the secondary streets and mews housing for artisans. Housing was accompanied by a market, police station, fire station, hotel, a public house, semi-private open space and a new public park.

The continued success of the area can be attributed to the quality and adaptability of the built-form. The spacious houses have enabled adaptation into flats and commercial use as needs have changed and the old market has housed several uses over the years including a riding school. It is currently a venue for the arts, education and the community. The square and public park ensures that the high density and lack of private open space are not problematic. Effective integration into Brighton’s wider urban structure means that people are encouraged to walk to other facilities nearby. The development remains one of the city’s most popular locations.

The development also demonstrates what can be achieved through good design, planning and management. This speculative development was carefully coordinated by the architect Charles Augustin Busby who insisted that all facades follow his design and that buildings were constructed to specified standards. Ongoing management was provided for the town in terms of commissioners and an Act of Parliament, which is still in force, ensures that facades must be repainted every five years to preserve a unity of appearance.

Other Information

  • Location: Brighton and Hove
  • Project Team: Developed between 1824-1840 by the Rev Thomas Scutt andCharles Augustin Busby
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UDC2 Section - Aiming Higher

Formal townhouses on Brunswick Square

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