So to project 4.1… We begin with a study of existing housing developments. It’s always very easy to criticise at first but, let’s be honest, housing is no easy feat. Housing is such a personal topic, different for every individual and every need, with fun found in features and quirks which appeal to some but not others in addition to levels of compromise in terms of budgets, planners, structure, local context and well, it becomes a serious challenge!
Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the Oxley Woods development near Milton Keynes by Rogers Stirk + Harbour Partners (http://www.richardrogers.co.uk/). And yes that is right, the Richard Rogers of the famous Pompidou Centre in Paris. However, this project is a little smaller scale…
A modern rendition on traditional English Terrace Housing: quick to assemble, affordable and just a little bit quirky too, surely everything people want in a house? Well… no.. Sadly not. With a combination of leaky walls and a feeling of cheapness, these affordable houses, well, didn’t sell… In fact, due to its contemporary image and construction techniques, initially it was next to impossible getting a mortgage for one of these dwellings. Consequently the firm were removed or perhaps removed themselves from being associated with the development. Still it goes to show that designing housing is pretty hard eh? Especially if the “elite” struggle…
So here is my part if the group-work analysis of this development:
When it came to presenting our findings to the year group, Simon, our ever enthusiastic and encouraging head of year had a fantastic idea. To give our visual communication skills a push, we were to present a different group’s analysis.
So, as a result I have another housing precedent to present to you:
This is Accordia Housing by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios (http://www.fcbstudios.com/)
This amazingly beautiful section was created by a course mate: Nick Dearden. It communicates how this scheme is very much about a strong front and back.
In fact it is a very successful scheme all round, clad in beautiful sandstone in keeping with the local area in Cambridge. Though, it is clear that this is a project with a large budget. So yes, it is a hugely successful project winning multiple awards but with such a large budget, could it really afford not to be?