Filwood Park constists of 150 new homes on a brown field site in Bristol located at the southern end of Filwood Broadway, the main high street in the Knowle West estate. The development is a key part of the wider regeneration plan for this neighbourhood helping to increase opportunities for new shops and businesses on this neglected high street, and to improve the prospects and liveability of this part of Bristol. The project has been bought forward by the HCA and is an example of how public land can provide integrated public spaces and new housing to play a part in regenerating a whole neighbourhood.
The site was formerly occupied by support buildings for the old Bristol airport, and is bounded to the east and north by the rear gardens of houses along Creswicke Road, to the south by Hengrove Way (a four-lane dual-carriageway), and to the west by playing fields with views towards Dundry Down. The housing is arranged around a rejuvenated park and is designed to suit the context of each part of the site, mediating some of the more challenging boundary conditions and creating an active frontage to all streets and public spaces, as well as a high-quality homes for residents. The housing funds the site remediation and formation of the park.
Our approach was to compose the town houses as a crescent of paired houses fronting onto the park with a formal avenue of trees laid out in front, giving a sense of enclosure to the open space. These houses have first floor living spaces that allow views over the park and to Dundry Down in the distance. A series of courtyard streets radiate from the park crescent to the eastern boundary to close the urban block, making small neighbourhood spaces for the short terraces of 2-storey houses. Along Hengrove Way flat blocks create a stronger, more protective frontage and are set further back to suit the scale of the road.
Deliverability and affordability were key, therefore, standard house types were given a contemporary palette of details to create a distinctive identity. Particular attention is paid to roof forms, with gables which articulate the paired houses along the park crescent, and to mark the ends of terraces on the courtyard streets. The blocks to Hengrove Way have flat roofs edged with brick parapets. The principle material used in all the buildings is a combination of red brick with a white brick, providing accents to accentuate windows. Projecting string courses add a finer texture to the ground floor level, and are used between windows to compose these elements on the elevations. A saw toothed brick detail provides a head to key windows and a decorative touch to gables. The approach has been to create a strong identity for the housing, in keeping with the arts and crafts design of the Knowle West Estate.
Through rejuvenating the park, providing quality new housing, and creating improved links and better frontages, Filwood Park will provide fantastic homes for residents that work as part of the wider regeneration of Knowle West.