Many of the smaller developments being proposed in villages in Guilford Borough are undistinguished in layout, being mostly designed around the motor car with little regard to community.
A small schemes recently completed in Buckinghamshire shows how a site with considerable challenges can still produce an interesting scheme.
ZCD Architects working for Catalyst Homes have designed a development of 19 two-bedroom houses for social rent in Lane End Buckinghamshire. The scheme has had to contend with a complex site which is steeply sloping, and next to the busy M40
ZCD acknowledge the influence of Jørn Utzon’s Kingo housing in Helinsgør, Denmark. At Kingo, Utzon (the architect of the Sydney Opera House) created a series of identical single storey L-shaped houses which he saw as cells, repeatable plans that gave each home a private courtyard and the opportunity to enjoy community life, through shared green spaces.
ZCD have designed a scheme that groups the 19 houses around a communal garden, which is designed as a place which is flexible to use. This design also mitigates the motorway noise enhancing its the garden's use as a social space. The homes are two storey and provide a set back courtyard space providing privacy as well as close connection to the communal garden at the end of the living room, dual aspects to most rooms and a car port, tucked under the bedroom on the first floor.
This kind of inovative approach provides lessons for smaller schemes in the borough to use land effectively and limit impact on exisitng housing..
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