We decided to look at this site because we saw in it the opportunity to explore a few ideas about new housing. In particular we hoped the length of the site would allow us to explore ways to introduce a variety of distinctively different homes but in a homogenous way.
The first action was to see the density we would need to achieve on the site. We wanted to aim for as few two storey elements as possible due to the presence of the gardens at the rear and bearing in mind the planning history.
We then applied a design idea we have used on other projects to create what looks like a complicated roof but is in fact based on a series of simple repeated elements off set at different angles. This allows the creation of something unique but at modest cost.
We then manipulated the shape to accommodate the required number of units.
Within the volume created we can accommodate the following units: 11 No 2 bedroom units (all part two storey); 7 No 1 bedroom units (all single storey)
The section we have designed has a low profile at the rear so as to avoid the creation of a tall bluff wall at the rear of the gardens of the Gore Road houses.
The preservation of existing mature trees is a very important part of creating a soft residential feel and maintaining the character of the area. The design of the layout is based on new construction only where there are existing garages so there will be minimal need to remove existing trees.
Daylight, Sunlight and Rights of Light
The profiles of the buildings are intended to minimize loss of light in the gardens of the Gore Road houses. Each new residential unit has a small private external courtyard at the rear where it should benefit from maximum sun penetration, and an open courtyard at the front providing shared access with one other unit.
There are small amenity spaces interspersed between the house to provide play space for children and a meeting space for older residents.
This is being retained in its current location and the services routes to it should not be interfered with.
Highways and Parking
A 2m pavement is being maintained along the whole frontage of the site. Open car parking spaces are provided for 10 cars, 8 at the eastern end of the site and 2 closer to the middle.
It is hoped that the distinctive shape of the new buildings will enhance the character of Conservation Area and improve the views within as well as into and out of the area
The design of the building is based on creating two parallel walls approx. 2.4m high at the front and the rear of the site. These are intended to be robust and vandal proof, above and behind this the construction is more light weight.
The parallel walls are intended to allow the use of modular construction in order to reduce costs.
The requirements of the competition were for 2 A3 boards, the first explaining the practice and the second explaining the proposal. The following images show our two boards.