Stonebridge Park Housing, London, UK, 2005-Europan 8
Europan Competition for 120 units of housing in a regeneration zone in North West London.
A double-headed strategy has evolved in response to the current situation working simultaneously at urban, building and also human scales. Two themes, ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ consider the merits of both additive and subtractive operations in order to achieve a number of strategic objectives for both housing and open spaces within the given site and brief constraints , in Stonebridge Park, North London.
The ambitions of additives to the current master plan are to register a different treatment of the open spaces, complement existing amenity provision and add hierarchy with points of orientation and changes in scale. An additive process has involved a consideration of existing and proposed amenities, focused most closely on the open space at the centre of the site and its potential connections both ‘through’ and ‘to’ other spaces.
A sustainable community relies on adjacency of ‘local’ amenities. We propose to supplement the housing with a Multi-purpose Hall within the existing well of the site to accommodate open green space above.
We add to the existing primary and secondary traffic arteries by providing a tertiary route which becomes a ‘homezone’ with pedestrian priority over traffic creating a stronger link between the park and the housing to the north of the site. We also propose no perimeter parking to the new park, to differentiate it from other open spaces and how the edge is treated.
The notion of subtraction is used to create buildings and open space that are porous and responsive to the requirements of the brief and demands of the site, by using cavities at different scales to perform specific tasks of access, view, aspect, light and ventilation.
Strategic views and physical connections into green and recreation spaces are important yet underutilized in the current plan. The carving away of large-scale mass to the south of the site is used to create new access and allow glimpses, revealing adjacent territories across Hillside to green space to the south. Four storeys are maintained to the housing blocks but elevated to allow access and views through, creating a gateway to the site.
The integration of building and landscape elements create ‘urban rooms’ by conceiving of the spaces in-between the buildings equally to the buildings themselves. Mass is removed to create private gardens to the north and communal gardens to the south, pushing the buildings to the perimeter of the designated plots.