The old Royal Mail Bournemouth sorting office

This development is on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office in Albert Road, Bournemouth. The original Post Office building was opened in 1896 but staff moved to WH Smith in 2008. The original building was left unused for a number of years apart from the front section which became a pizza express and ground floor level and student accommodation above. The unused rear section of the site was approximately three-quarters of the original building which was to be demolished and redeveloped.

Located in the heart of Bournemouth, this scheme fills the gap between the surrounding buildings and repairs the grain of development in Albert Road. Surrounded by listed buildings the design required a sympathetic approach, achieved through a combination of traditional and contemporary architecture. The yellow brick Regency façade fronts Albert Road, with the saw-toothed contemporary wing of the building to the rear. The development includes 79 one and two bedroom apartments and two retail units at ground floor level.

With restrictions of access to the site, the new structure was a steel frame supporting a composite metal deck and concrete floor. The site boundaries were shared by a number of different properties which required a total of seven different party wall acts. One offered much more significant challenges than others. The new development had to extend over the kitchen of the adjacent pizza express, but under no circumstances could the opening times of the restaurant be affected. This immediately attracted any strengthening or modification works to the existing pizza express structure. Therefore, Calcinotto provided a solution to cantilever the 4 upper storeys 6m over pizza express with now support provided by the existing building. this large cantilever was formed using a full storey depth of steel trusses within the bin and cycle stores. The cantilever frames were anchored down using large CFA piles.


The Old Sorting Office Ltd




Bournemouth, Dorset


ARC Architecture Ltd


Drew Construction Group


Mixed Use