Allerton Bywater Area 2 is a mixed tenure development of 151 family houses and apartments, within the Allerton Bywater Millenium Community near Leeds. The site was won by HTA working with Barratt Leeds, as part of the Design for Manufacture competition promoted by the ODPM and English Partnerships.
In November 2005, HTA Architects competed for seven of the sites within the ODPM/EP sponsored Design for Manufacture competition, winning two of the major sites including with Upton D2, Northampton in addition to and Allerton Bywater, Leeds. The competitions initiative was to demonstrate efficiency in building processes to deliver high quality housing with a construction cost of £60,000.
The designs for both sites were produced within the guidance of the Design Codes for the area, and sought to further the capacity of Modern Methods of Construction in the housing industry using Barratt’s off-site manufacturing facility, the Advance Housing factory at Daventry, a joint venture between Barratt and Terrapin.
The scheme provides diverse, interesting, and innovative dwelling types offering real choice to buyers and residents. Houses are designed with prefabrication principles in mind and are arranged in distinctive typologies and façade treatments which create a sense of individuality to each block and unit. A permeable network of streets, a new urban square and park, integrated relationships of building heights, street widths, landscaping, boundary treatments, roofscapes, building articulation, choice of materials – all work in harmony to create a collective sense of place. All homes are designed to reduce their impact on the environment including meeting the Ecohomes ‘Excellent’ standard which was the highest national sustainability standard when the designs were developed.
Formal geometries predominate the perimeter of the scheme. A ‘Crescent’ forms the southern edge to Horizons, overlooking a new park and providing a distinctive gateway. The ‘Main Street’ leads from the park and defines the eastern side, with generously proportioned townhouses articulated by projecting oriel box windows and a stepping roofscape. The Main Street is terminated by a new ‘Village Square’ where four storey blocks of flats are articulated by large balcony structures that echo the industrial heritage of mining in the area. Leading from the ‘Village Square’, to the west a new ‘Boulevard’ knits the new Millennium Community back into its context of 2-3 storey houses.
The housing provides an innovative range of dwelling types from 2 bedroom flats to 4 bedroom semi-detached homes at a density of 47 dwellings per hectare. The house-types respond to their context and reinforce the distinct character zones.
The scheme succeeds in combining prefabricated efficiency, individuality, sustainability, and character, to create a design and modern aesthetic that echoes the local vernacular and is recognizable and acceptable to local people as ‘home’. The development displays a sense of quality - balancing the needs, wants and requirements of the market with the need for more efficient and speedy delivery of housing. It provides a real test-bed for Barratt Homes one of the UK’s leading and most prolific house-builders, learning from which could help set a direction for Barratt and the house building industry as a whole.