ofMulti award winning Alan Phillips Architects have been granted planning permission for a major project, approximately 30 miles outside London, which is set to change the face of commuter living and pave the way for a new standard of excellence in sub-urban residential building.
While developers may have their eye fixed on London’s Greenbelt, an acute awareness of preserving this land is making the necessity for quality housing in commuter towns beyond this perimeter ever more vital.
The Haywards Heath based Educational Centre, an independent school for children with educational and behavioural difficulties approached Alan Phillips Architects 4 years ago to asses the feasibility of converting their existing, run down school into residential accommodation. The proposed development concept was to provide the financial support for the relocation of the children into facilities more suitable to their particular needs.
Due for completion in August 2009, the approved scheme comprises 48 studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in 2, 5 storey blocks. Each block has it’s own distinctive architecture, one that addresses the sub-urban residential context with the use of locally sourced brick and modernised gabled façade and the other the more urban transport node utilising sweet chestnut panels in an undulating skin punctuated with deep window recesses. At a density of over 400 units per hectare it was critical to introduce as much individual and common amenity space as possible.
Vertical, hydroponic gardens create a hidden, luscious world within the courtyard and act as a mediating device between the two blocks, allowing in light and retaining privacy.
A stones throw from Haywards Heath Station, local amenities and services, the site offered many detailed challenges that required exhaustive consultation with various professionals and the local authorities.