Design Brief and Concept.
We have been instructed to design an intervention for the applicant that will provide 14 no. two bedromed apartments together with their associated car parking whilst carefully considering and contributing to the sensitive verdant setting of the site and the Conservation Area.
The result aims to create an intervention in the established built and mature leafy urban landscape that evokes quality of design, construction and living environment.
The topography and existing property on the site have dictated the siting, height and mass of the property. The wider context of the Conservation area, the tree lined hillside back-drop and the surrounding architecture has informed the design language, the selection of materials and detailing adopted in the proposal.
The proposed new development has been designed with a strong contemporary aesthetic drawing its cues from its location and relationships with the historic environment around it. The decision to pursue a contemporary rather than traditional aesthetic, was informed by the desire to create a sympathetic contrasting intervention derived from the historical context it is set within.
The most prominent aspect of this site and the hillside on which it is set within is when viewed from across the valley to the north wand west. Mature plots that are heavily wooded with native trees interspersed with substantial Victorian villas of which several have been modified or substantially extended or modified in later times.
The use of materials, layers and the fragmentation of the façade were considered and developed to ensure that no aspects of the proposed new structure were overly prominent or sought to dominate the surrounding landscape.
Whilst some rendered elements have been retained in the new dwelling this is a deliberate device to articulate the descent of the terrain and the impact of this material is reduced through the introduction of other elements.
Careful consideration has been given from the outset to ensure that sustainability is integral to the design and ultimately reduce carbon emissions in the long term running of the building as well as embodied energy and energy involved with maintenance. A simplicity in the approach to the design has been employed where possible to avoid design complexities that might otherwise be difficult to insulate whilst avoiding compromise to the design and form. The facades of the building have been designed to consider daylight, solar gain and ventilation, as well as overhangs, wall and roof junctions and building corners accordingly. In assessing the site derived constraints that inform the design process, constraints relating to environmental sustainability have also been carefully assessed.
The lower ground floor will be constructed in traditional masonry with a stone plinth and fully tanked to ensure integrity from water ingress.
The accommodation level walls will be insulated to greater levels than required by current Building Regulations to ensure enhanced thermal efficiency and with argon filled double glazed windows to the outside.
The upper floors will be constructed using a combination of masonry and steelwork structurally, with glazing, external cladding and deep insulation to the walls. Underfloor heating with zone controls will ensure these thermally efficient spaces stay warm. These modern construction methods, high levels of air tightness in the building fabric ensure the building operates at an optimal level ensuring energy efficiency.
Low energy electrical fittings, and appliances throughout the apartments will ensure the power demands of these new homes will be minimal.