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As we prepare to complete a planning application for our client, we're pleased to share a visual of this contemporary extension that we have designed complete with dark cladding, concealed guttering, and a sedum roof. The contemporary design creates a juxtaposition to the stone cottage that forms the main dwelling.

Updated: Jan 4

Aerial view of the site

We have been invited to participate in the design of a community housing project on Bridge Farm, Bristol a steep sloping site adjacent to the M32 motorway. The scheme is run by a Community Housing Association who are aspiring to develop the site with a mixture of houses and flats. A community centre at the heart of the site would enable communal activities to take place. Further up the steep site is a communal garden and greenhouse where a variety of foods are grown.

Site section showing the steep terrain

The Site

This site presents many challenges, all of which require thoughtful consideration in how to develop a community without too much impact on what is currently there. Some of these challenges and some of the questions we've had to ask ourselves are as follows:

  • How do we develop a variety of housing typologies without too much excavation and environmental impact on the site?

  • The M32 motorway is adjacent which creates a lot of background noise throughout the day. How can we ensure the homes are comfortable to live in across the day?

  • Several existing Victorian buildings are on site in a dilapidated state

  • Do we creatively reuse the existing buildings through refurbishment, or would demolition be a better approach?

  • An existing community have established a base on site for community events and a community farm. How do we develop the site for housing without impacting the existing community?

  • Much of the site is greenfield and accommodates lots of greenery and biodiversity. How do we enhance the site environmentally and leave it in a better condition than it currently is?

Top left: routes across the site | Top Right: sun path

Bottom Left: key views | Bottom Right: green spaces

Our Approach

We spent time analysing the site to better understand how we can deliver a quantity of housing without significant impact on site. We aimed to work with the landscape as much as possible to maximise the number of houses without the need to excavate more earth than is necessary.

Our vision included a central avenue which would allow the dwellings to be far enough apart to not create harsh shadows on neighbouring properties and to reduce overlooking. The avenue crosses through the site laterally with communal spaces along its trajectory, and communal buildings at either end. This avenue then leads onto the existing Victorian buildings which we propose to refurbish to modern standard as a mixture of micro-housing, shops, workspaces, studios, etc.

Central avenue cutting through the site
A view from the streetside

We are pleased to share this sketch of a design in Portishead that is about to enter the planning stages of the project. The clients commissioned us to reconfigure the ground floor layout to provide them with a well sized kitchen/diner for family dining and entertaining. Key to the design was taking advantage of the south facing views over Portishead and the countryside in the distance.

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