Exclusive Residential Development at Essex County Cricket Club

This month’s featured project is the exciting transformation of Chelmsford’s iconic Essex County Cricket Club’s ground, which included the development of over 300 luxury residential apartments split between four apartment blocks. With each of the apartments enjoying magnificent views over either the cricket ground, Central Park or the River Can, this offers a truly unique and prestigious living and recreational environment. 


Having now successfully completed the first phase, Merson Group are thoroughly looking forward to getting underway with phase two. When finished, this new £85million development in the heart of Chelmsford will also boast a new cricket ground with an increased capacity, a pavilion, comprehensive media facilities, outstanding conference centre and a public piazza. With its unrivalled location close to the city centre, train station, river and parkland, this scheme will undoubtedly become a real landmark; a place where its buildings and spaces work in harmony to create a real sense of place for the community it serves.

Merson Group were delighted to be awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install the cladding system for the first block of 62 apartments. For this project, luxury was at the heart of the vision, this was more than a residential block, it had to represent the whole environment that it would be a key part of. Working closely with Kier Construction and O’Mahony Pike Architects, we designed an effective cladding system that delivered on both the aesthetics and performance of the building.

CGL’s secret fix vertical Traypanel system was chosen, which was supported by the CS1 extruded aluminium grid. Each pre-painted aluminium cladding panel has a PVDF coating to give it the smooth, consistent finish, something specifically requested by the architect. This PVDF coating, together with the washcoat primer on the back of the panels, ensured that the cladding would be completely protected from corrosion; a key consideration for this building as it is situated next to the saltwater Thames Estuary. The architect specified two colours; the light grey panels for the majority of the building, with a darker anthracite grey feature band around the windows, which together created a visually striking effect.

Installation was a challenging stage of the project because of the intricate castellation fittings and the 3.5m height of each individual cladding panel. Due to the height of the structure, the installation had to be carried out from mast climbers attached to the side of the building. The success of this complex phase relied heavily upon all the trades working together, namely those supplying the steelworks, the windows and the balconies. During the course of this project Merson Group consulted the design drawings of the relevant other subcontractors working on the project to ensure that the cladding system would accommodate the other features of the building and therefore reduce wastage. 

Close collaboration and innovation has led to the successful delivery of the first tower, named Century Tower, with the majority of the flats being purchased off-plan during the construction stage. The next phase of the development will comprise the further three apartment blocks, a footbridge over the River Can and the development of the cricket ground and associated buildings.

We are delighted to contribute to this redevelopment and look forward to sharing more on this soon.

In the mean-time, you can take a look through some of our other projects here.