1.Hexham Close Rear

Hexham Close

client / site location:
Viaduct, Stockport
duration:
March 2019 - April 2020 (58 weeks)
contract:
JCT D & B (pre-novation services)
value and scheme:
£3M. Twenty four 1 & 2 bed apartments

Supported by Homes England funding for Stockport Homes, this under capacity site supported ten 1970’s social housing flats and partly occupied ground floor retail spaces. It now delivers twenty four, 1 & 2 bedroom apartments for social rent, by re-siting the displaced ground floor convenience store just 200 metres away. The site is located within an area of established 2 storey social housing, much of which was formerly owned by Stockport MBC. Our proposals remain consistent with this general domestic language and offer a scale and layout which is respectful and appropriate to its context.

This four storey building has been carefully designed but is simple in form. North facing accommodation has been minimised where possible with a preference for east/west orientation, whilst the site edges have been designed to respond to the existing street scene, which forms the basis of the building’s site position. The ground floor slab is 1.2m lower than the existing slab level reducing the effective overall height, scale and general impact of the building. Language and scale retain domestic qualities with the introduction of a top floor dual pitched roof, occupying much of the roof space section. This not only assists in significantly reducing mass and section height, but adds character, interest and articulation to all the elevations which have been carefully considered to address all existing neighbouring developments.

This double fronted building is easy to read, with the non-slip routes to both communal entrances made clear and accessible to all. With 100% car parking, disabled spaces are positioned close to the rear entrance with flat resting areas. Where possible long views have been maintained to promote a feeling of space and connection to the building beyond the boundaries. This assists wayfinding and integration into the suburban fabric, as well as ensuring that there is natural passive surveillance which encourages a safer environment.

The designated open space immediately to the north has been retained both for the amenity of the site and suburban context, whilst the smaller space to the south is landscaped and is an ideal secondary external communal area for the apartment residents. Boundary dwarf walls with railings above bound the site and whilst not secure, they provide defensible frontages and relief, with a planted street scene defining public/private and space, making shortcuts difficult and clearly very inappropriate.

The social benefits of the proposals are evident, supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities; furthermore the scheme enables social affordable housing to continue to operate from the site providing important housing for some of the more vulnerable people in society. As a Greater Manchester based practice, with many local projects underway, giving back to the community is important to the team at DASH.