west green place

West Green Place

West Green Place N17 provides 126 homes along a new street with generous public realm and entrance square, which allows access to the greenery of Downhills Park.


West Green Place N17 is Pocket Living’s largest project to date, with a demanding brief on a challenging site, overcoming plenty of opportunities to be derailed. A forgotten brownfield site squeezed between rear gardens and the pretty Downhills Park, HTA crafted a sensitive design response that optimised the site, created a new community, making the most of the views and access to the park. HTA skilfully evolved the scheme to respond to Haringey’s requirements, accommodated site boundary changes and gained support from a wide range of concerned neighbours. They worked collaboratively with Dyvik Kahlen Architects, the competition, winning designers of the new nursery on site as well as with the contractor to deliver quality construction throughout the scheme. Pocket Living could not be more delighted at the outcome of the project and the quality of the completed scheme.


How does this Pocket site benefit the local community?

The team set an ambitious brief to deliver new community facilities and affordable homes for priced-out locals on a disused piece of land in Haringey. The scheme provides a total of 126 homes made up of 98 one and two bedroom discounted Pocket homes, 12 two bedroom Pocket Edition homes and 16 three bedroom Pocket Edition town houses. Providing genuinely affordable homes that allow local people to achieve home ownership and continue to build their life in urban areas which they would otherwise not be able to afford is a critical part of this project. In a borough where the average house price is 11 times the local average income, 98 of the 126 homes provided meet the GLA’s definition of affordable homes and have been sold at a discount of 20% of market rate. 50% of the properties were reserved for, and have been sold to, local key workers.

A key component of the brief was the reprovision of a range of community uses that had previously occupied a range of run down and temporary structures on the site. The community building was the subject of a design competition in 2016, which deliberately targeted emerging architectural practices, reinforcing Pocket’s commitment to quality and innovation in design. The successful proposal, by Dyvik Kahlen, provides a modest and intriguing translucent volume to anchor the entrance square and provide a natural focal point for the community. Reprovision of the community facilities was carefully phased to allow them to continue to operate with construction started in 2018 and the community centre opening later that year, the wider scheme completed in 2020 through the challenges of Covid

How does the design respond to its local context?

The architecture of West Green Place has emerged from our studies of the immediate context. It seeks to establish a new identity for the development while respecting the 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 articulated using various pilasters, shadow gaps and corbels. A combination of white cats and stone resonates with the stonework lintels and cills from the surrounding streets. White painted brick is used at ground level, offering a robust, easily maintained finish. Juliette balconies provide views over Downlands Park. At the same time, they contribute to the organisation of these pavilions into different expressions for the base, middle and top of the buildings.

The townhouses are bespoke for the site and have been carefully designed to minimise any overlooking and maximise light to existing homes to the east through a distinctive section that slopes down to the ground floor. Our process involved designing and testing our proposals using physical and digital models, and this was one of the first projects the practice designed using Virtual Reality. This helped the team visualise and assess the scale of the spaces in context and the experience of moving through the site, particularly the pedestrian connections to the playground.

How did HTA create a well-designed layout on such a constrained site?

West Green Place is situated in the London Borough of Haringey on a tight 0.84 hectare back land site, constrained by existing houses and a tree lined park edge. This posed challenges to delivering the new homes. We responded by creating a new avenue with a row of townhouses to the east and flats arranged in pavilion blocks overlooking the Downhills Park to the west. A new nursery fronting onto a small public square is created at the north entrance to the site.

To overcome the narrow site, the townhouses had to back on to existing properties, which raised issues of overlooking. We designed a clever rear façade which slopes to create a spacious light-filled, vaulted ceiling over the open plan living, kitchen and dining area. This design decision provides residents with views to the sky and minimises overlooking and overshadowing. The homes are dual aspect, with views to the public realm and private gardens.