We were invited by Newhall Projects Ltd, a private development company, to contribute to an already developing site on the edge of the Harlow new town in Essex. This site is of great interest since it is one of the few examples of a suburban housing development with a strong architectural agenda. Much of the site has already been developed through the master planning of Roger Evans & Associates of Oxford and we have been given a large site adjacent to the main access road and also adjacent to a smaller site which is under simultaneous design by ECD Architects of London.
Our proposals are to a degree a continuation of ideas already expressed in our project at Cramond in Edinburgh with the idea of abolishing the usual suburban arrangement of the isolated house surrounded by front, back and side gardens sitting in a suburban cul-de-sac of unused front gardens and driveways. Instead we have attempted to enclose as much private garden into a single walled garden for each house, making houses largely single aspect so that the blind back wall of each house forms one of the walls of the walled garden of its neighbour.
Suburban roads, already laid out in the master plan have been strengthened by the idea of becoming walled lanes with housing generally at right angles to the road with first floor window supervision of each street.
There are four house types: a "town house" along the southern and northern boundaries of the site, two single aspect suburban garden houses which occupy the majority of the site and finally a two-bedroom mews flat at first floor which has a terrace but no garden, sitting on top of garages for adjacent houses. In this way the large parking requirement of a suburban housing development can be incorporated into inhabited space instead of the usual large and unsightly double garages.
In addition to the houses there is a small block of flats in the south east corner of the site contributing to a more urban large scale centre as part of the master plan and abutting a row of flats by ECD Architects.
The project received planning permission in October 2004 - and the entire site was completed in July 2008.
|Architects||Richard Murphy, Matt Bremner, Tim Bayman, David McPeak|
|Engineers||SKM and Waterman Structures Ltd|
|M&E Engineers||Fulcrum Consulting|
|Project Management||WT Partnership|
|Quantity Surveyor||WT Partnership|
|Master Planner||Roger Evans Associates|
|Contractor||William Verry Ltd|
|Client||Newhall Projects Ltd|
2007 What House Gold Award
2008 Private Housing Architect of the Year Award 2008 Finalist (over 14 Units)
2011 RIBA Award