Working closely with Turley Associates’ Southampton office, an outline planning application is submitted to Test Valley Borough Council for 360 dwellings in Nursling, Southampton. The scheme is designed to Code Level 4 and is offered as an exemplar for sustainable housing in the South of England. In reviewing the project is warmly received by the Test Valley Architects’ Advisory Panel, who describe it as “a housing development of exceptional potential both in terms of spatial quality and architectural design”. A planning decision is due in February 2009.
Design Engine are successfully interviewed for the ASK (Aster Somer Knightstone) South West Housing Framework, covering a large region from Cornwall to Hampshire. In all, 15 practices make up the framework formed by the three Housing Associations.
Our approach is to produce a dense living zone of clustered dwellings designed on a modern inter- pretation of the typology of the English farmstead. Each cluster will be supplemented by a freer arrangement of innovatively designed detached and semi-detached homes to create a series of micro neighbourhoods.
The composition will engage with the natural land- scape edges of Home Covert to the North and newly formed landscaped ‘corridors’ running North-South. These serve to fragment the boundary between nature and development. A new pedestrian lane is proposed to run between the clustered neighbour- hoods in order to provide short, medium and longer distance connectivity across the existing and the new community.
Design Engine, along with Macreanor Lavington and Karakusevic Carson, were commissioned to design 500 residential units over 3 sites within ‘The William Street Quarter’ scheme (a masterplan by Dutch firm Urhahn, for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham).
The Design Engine scheme provides high quality mixed-tenancy housing; arranged generally on four floors but with a ten-storey tower providing exemplary one, two and three-bed apartments. The target for the scheme is to achieve ‘Level 4’ of the Code for Sustainable Homes assessment and other design criteria such as Building for Life, Secure by Design and Lifetime Homes, which have all been taken into account through an innovative and rigorous design process.
Set into a granite hillside overlooking the sea, this scheme of 37 new housing units and community buildings are arranged on existing natural contours. Efficient landscaped car parking courts for the whole site are designed on two levels at the foot of the site: one below ground and one at grade. Pedestrian routes through the site weave between residential buildings via existing vanells, steps and ramps between semi-public courtyards. Each house or apartment benefits from a small dedicated garden or balcony to complete the hierarchy of public, semi-public and private realms.
This proposal is seen as an opportunity to develop a model for mixed-use developments which fuses urban design initiatives and landscape with architecture to enhance the quality of living within the city. By utilising the scale and mass of the existing building fabric, sensitive materials, orientation and spatial sequences, the proposal seeks to reinforce and significantly enhance the surrounding environment.