HTA@50 - West Green Place
The Pocket Living concept is to provide compact homes for sale which are affordable in perpetuity and located in well connected neighbourhoods such as to enhance community wellbeing.
Our vision for West Green Place is to create an exemplary new residential street adding a public square at its entrance which opens up access to Downhills Park. The proposals will see the existing poor quality and disparate community buildings replaced with a new a consolidated nursery and community hall in a striking new gateway building (designed by Dyvik Kahlen).
The layout is arranged around a central Avenue. The built form splays to the south, responding to the shape of the site and its context while accommodating the constraint of the existing school building on the southern boundary. This design has the advantage of creating the space for a more generous public realm at the southern end of the site and maximising the benefits of orientation.
The buildings are split either side of the Avenue with flats arranged as Pavilions along the Downhill Park edge to the west. On the opposite eastern side of the avenue are predominantly two and a half storey townhouses arranged in terraces of 4 terminated by 3 storey flat blocks at the northern end which offers frontage to the entrance square. This arrangement enables the houses to sit back to back with existing houses on Keston Road and completes the historic urban block.
West Green Place will offer 126 new homes of which 98 will be sold at a discount of 20% from the market rate using Pocket’s unique model. This equates to nearly 80 percent of the homes meeting the GLA’s definition of ‘Affordable Homes’. Within this range of Pocket homes are 5 larger flats which through their creative and flexible layouts reduce their footprint to create discounted flats for sale with 2 bedrooms - a first for a Pocket development. In addition to these Pocket discounted flats there are 12 two bedroom flats for sale at full market value and 16 three bedroom townhouses ensuring that the new development benefit from a diverse community that accommodates families. The townhouses are bespoke for the site and have been carefully designed to minimize any overlooking and maximize light to existing homes to the east through a distinctive section that slopes down to the ground floor.
The architecture of West Green Place has emerged from our studies of the immediate context and seeks to establish a unique identity for the development while respecting the desirable material palette and details of the surrounding Victorian streets. To achieve this an alternating palette of London stock brick and red brick is used across the site and is articulated using a variety of pilasters, shadow gaps and corbels. Echoing the stonework lintels, cills, entrances and string courses from the surrounding streets accents created using a combination of white cast stone and glass reinforced concrete frame windows with angled lintels, soffits and jambs as well as entrance canopies and string courses.
Our process involved designing and testing our proposals using physical and digital models and this was one of the first projects that the practice has designed using Virtual Reality. This helped the team visualize and assess the scale of the spaces in context and assess the experience of moving through the site particularly the pedestrian connections through to the playground.