The Financial Business District, is 43100 m2 of land situated within the eastern side of the heart of Victoria Town Centre. It is located 2 kilometers north-west of the Plaisance District and 1.8 kilometers south of Anse Etoile District. The land, owned solely by the State Government is currently used for storage purpose and is subject to potential future financial business development.
- Create a walkable Financial Business District in close proximity to the public transit
- Provide for pedestrian interconnectivity to promote accessibility to the financial activity destinations and promote alternative modes of transport to reduce transport’s local carbon-footprint
- Promote a car-free Financial Business District by enhancing pedestrian friendly environments influencing walkability
- Promote for a transitional building height and architectural style
In order to achieve the aforementioned objectives, the Victoria’s Financial Business Districts incorporates a Place Making Concept of which includes sustainable designs for an inviting public spaces. The concept plan of the Financial Business District capitalizes on six urban design elements integrating with the existing Unity House and the Caravel House.
Element 1: BUILDING HEIGHTS
As a future Financial Business District the proposed building heights should accommodate for the type of building use, which in this case the building height varies from Ground plus four to Ground plus Six. The proposed building Heights will provide a proper transition from the Old Victoria Town Centre to the ‘New Town’ referred to as the FBD whilst accommodating for the type of building use.
Building of Ground plus Two plus Attic is proposed adjacent to the Albert Street of which will create a ‘transitional buffer’ in order to prevent sudden change in height. The central precinct of the FBD will be featured with a maximum building height of Ground plus Six and adjacent buildings with Ground plus five. Buildings facing 5th June Avenue and Manglier Road will have a height of Ground plus Four.
The overall view of building heights in the FBD is to create a landmark in the centre of Ground plus Six with gradual decrease of surrounding building heights to Ground plus Four. This will achieve a desired effect of visual and physical graduation from higher scale development.
Element 2: ARCHITECTURAL STYLE
The architectural style along the Huteau Lane precinct will be a combination of Creole and modern architecture. Buildings which frontal facades facing the Albert Street, Palm Street and Manglier Road, 5th June Avenue and Huteau Lane shall be characterized by Creole architecture to a certain extent such as the newly built Unity House and the Caravel House. Buildings in the Centre will not necessarily comprise of Creole architecture. The central parts of the plot will be the ideal place for the proposed Seychelles Trading Centre building.
Element 3: TYPE OF LAND USE - COMMERCIAL AND OFFICE
The Financial Business District will provide for a pedestrian-oriented commercial and office land use precinct within close proximity to the Victoria’s Bus Terminal and the future adjacent mixed use precincts in the Town Centre. As a civic centre, the function of the FBD is to facilitate people to conduct their daily transactions to commercial banks, service utility offices, and other business offices, all in one location. Such provision of an effective development will reduce the need for customers to travel long distances from corners of the town to access these business offices hence reduces the need for automobile reliance as most services are located in close proximity and create ease of access for people using public transport.
Pedestrian-scaled retails on ground floor along main streets and pedestrian precincts need to be activated restaurants with alfresco dining or cafeterias to support pedestrian flow and increase pedestrian accessibility and attraction to the Financial Business District. This will create a liveable and vibrant precinct attracting more pedestrian activities to the area during both daytime and night-time.
Additionally such proposed land use will boost up employment opportunities and contribute to the overall concept of a self-contained town centre where people will live, work and play.
Element 4: MOVEMENT NETWORK
i. Vehicular Access
With the principle of reducing motor-vehicle usage in the Victoria Town Centre and limiting vehicular access within the Financial Business District, the precinct will be accessed by vehicles only via Manglier Road and partially on Huteau Lane. Road widening of Huteau Lane is proposed as a means to create sufficient space for Fire Brigade emergencies or service access and to provide proper pedestrian access on both sides of the street.
ii. Pedestrian Access
The proposed pedestrian network is based on a traditional-grid network system to promote shorter walking distances making travel more efficient and create higher level of pedestrian connectivity to activity destinations within the Financial Business District and the surroundings. Grid-networks provide better interconnectivity to encourage walking and reduce the number of automobile trips.
Huteau Lane is proposed to extend to the east of the precinct for access from Market and Albert Street to the 5th June Avenue of which will be partially pedestrianised. Proposed is another pedestrian access creating direct link from Palm Street to Manglier Road. These two main connectors form as a spine of pedestrian access to the Financial Business District. Further pedestrian interconnectivity from Northern, Western and Southern part of the precinct is created with pedestrian linkages connecting from the main spine.
ELEMENT 5: THE PUBLIC REALM
i. Central Plaza and Public Square
The proposal emphasizes on the balance between proposed building heights and the importance of increasing the public realm in such type of development. The FBD will incorporate a Central Plaza and public square with integrated pedestrian amenities and landscaping. These spaces will provide meeting places, where people will be able to mingle, enjoy their food and relax from the hustle and bustle from the main streets.
LANDSCAPING AND PEDESTRIAN AMENITIES
In order to provide for pedestrian ‘pleasureability’ and comfort, the concept plan of the Financial Business District emphasizes on the provision of natural landscaping and revitalization of the Moosa River to create an aesthetic environment, sense of place and increase visual amenity for pedestrians.
i. Revitalization of Moosa River
Building facades will face the Moosa River and accommodate for activities such as alfresco dining to generate pedestrian activities overlooking the natural watercourse. Sidewalks will be provided on both sides along the Moosa River with trees and public seating.
ii. Green streetscape
Pedestrian precincts and streets will incorporate street trees for; provision of shades to protect pedestrian from the microclimatic conditions and create an aesthetic pedestrian friendly environment to influence strolling activities and walking trips. Provision of street trees will be provided in front of buildings abutting the main road to maintain a green alignment and maximize the percentage of greenery spaces in the FBD as well as in the overall Town Centre.
ELEMENT 6: NIGHT LIGHTING
Other than for the purpose of night visibility and security, the provision of night lighting in the FBD is to create a spectacular illuminating precinct to attract pedestrian activities at night. Pedestrian lighting poles will be provided in public square, plaza, streets and pedestrian precincts. Night lighting to buildings and water features in plazas or public space will also contribute as part of the night-time public art.
More information can be found in The Victoria Masterplan, Chapter 4, Project 2: The Financial District ; A New Heart to the City, page 116 referenced below.