Basildon East Square is at the heart of the wider town centre regeneration programme for Basildon Borough Council, creating a brand-new leisure square for the main hub of activity.

The construction of a new retail and leisure development in the town centre provides a new 10-screen cinema, six new restaurant units with outdoor dining opportunities, along with significant improvements to the public realm.

The revitalisation of East Square and its approaches maximises accessibility and footfall to the new development. Predominantly paved, with low-level planting, new seating areas and lighting, the square provides users with a dynamic public space.

Meeting Acoustic Performance

Built on a combination of Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) and Continuous Helical Displacement (CHD) piles, the steel frame building had to provide ten auditoria of varying sizes, including space for the largest cinema screen outside of Leicester Square in the South East.

Each auditoria had to adhere to the very strict acoustic performance requirements demanded by Empire. To ensure the exact requirements for acoustic performance are met, McLaren are working with acoustic engineers who specialise in cinema design, integrating them into the team. 

To comply with these requirements, nearly 20000 sheets of plasterboard have been fixed to walls and ceilings up to eight boards thick.
The façades were a combination of coloured zinc hexagonal shingles and rectangular cassettes, with a colonnade of shop fronts in Glass-Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GRC) and curtain walling to match the appearance of other town centre buildings. This design was inspired by the ceramic mosaics located on Freedom House, which was demolished as part of the site preparation works.

Our project team also facilitated the reinstatement of the 'Man Aspires' sculpture that was removed from the demolished building and also a piece of artwork by the Radion Project that explores Basildon’s past and present with a focus on nature and heritage within the borough.

East Square is located within a busy town centre, facing a residential tower overlooking the works. A dedicated Community Liaison Officer was assigned to site to work closely with the estate officer and existing tenants of the live retail units. A dedicated website also provides regular updates on work progression, events and employment opportunities for local residents.

McLaren also revamped the East Square Community open space and completed the enabling works for the post office residential site, which is the next area to be developed.