This development appraisal is notable because the site was covered by a vast late 20th century warehouse located beside a busy 'A' road. Concrete backfilled chalk pits lay beneath whilst the floor slab, used by articulated lorries, had significant structural capacity. The brief called for a mixed residential development using innovative off site fabrication.
The 73 proposed dwellings are constructed entirely inside the existing warehouse, onto the structurally robust ground slab and prior to removal of the roof coverings. Lightweight timber framed single aspect dwellings are built as 'lean to's' against the existing brick diaphragm walls, combining the benefits of both materials (light weight prefab & thermally insulating & dense with thermal mass) whilst recycling the entire masonry fabric of the existing slab and structure on site. Services, cisterns and planting occupy the area between the buildings and the existing slab.
Large new apertures are selectively formed in the wall and two open squares of inward looking single aspect dwellings are created within a carefully modified and 'tweaked' enclosure. This was designed to give a highly distinctive robust and unified exterior in keeping with the scale and disposition of the context. A range of new buildings and planting completes and compliments the resulting composition. We know of no other precedents yet for the residential conversion of buildings of this type.