Second planning approval of the year with a new contemporary family home.

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The site is situated just outside Ramsden Conservation Area, near the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The new four-bedroom family home includes a garage workshop and garden barn to provide additional flexible living. The new home, set on a sloped topography, takes advantage of stunning views across the adjacent mature landscape and sensitively nestles itself within the landscape to omit impact from Ramsden High Street. The family of buildings descend away from the entrance to further add to the seclusion of the site.

The relationship between local built and natural forms informed the proposed layout by emulating the origins of the settlement of farmsteads within forest clearings typically found alongside the Roman Road. How the articulation relates to the site and interacts within the landscape was fundamental to the design, with particular attention on how the proposal presents itself within distant views.

The considered placement of spaces on site has established and improved the connection between the main house and the landscape. The structures are carefully orientated to address the site and its south-westerly prospect over the village valley. The three buildings coalesce around a small courtyard, open to the garden along the south-eastern side, creating a sheltered sun trap. The arrangement reveals a more intimate scale, glimpsed through mature trees, with a thoughtfully composed domestic garden responding to the needs of everyday family life. The existing mature perimeter trees to the boundary will be preserved alongside the conservation of the meadow on site to enhance the existing gardens and biodiversity.

Project Architect Matt Iliffe adds “I’m really excited to get planning approval for Oakdene. It’s been a pleasure working with a such special site in a beautiful place. We have been able to draw inspiration from a rich local architectural history, the peaceful woodland clearing, and the rolling westerly view over the valley. The placement of forms looks to reengage the landscape and define a variety of external spaces that embrace the house and permeate the sequence of rooms inside. It’s great to get this over the line and we’re looking forward to taking it onto site.”

The approved design pursues a sustainable approach through the incorporation of regional, low carbon building materials and environmentally conscious ideas such as; renewable energy sources, solar shading, robust thermal envelope, and harmonising with its natural surroundings. The proposal will look to reuse as much of the existing deconstructed house materials as achievable.

The palette will be locally sourced where possible, rooted in tradition and true to its Ramsden roots. The main house is built from contextual oolitic limestone, with a traditional stone tiled roof. The front elevation is more defensive and formal, whilst the rear elevation, overlooking the valley, is more open. In contrast, the garden barn is clad in charred timber, offering a more contemporary contrasting material whilst connecting to the landscape.

The ground floor plan is organised with the main living spaces in enfilade along the view over the valley. Smaller enclosed rooms are situated at the front of the house. A double-height entrance space and stairway at the centre of the house culminate in a double-height dining space. Three generous dual-aspect bedrooms plus a master suite are situated one at each corner of the house on the first floor. The master suite enjoys views over the meadow to the valley beyond, with a dedicated dressing area.

The resulting family home is a contemporary interpretation of the local vernacular with the form and materiality directly referencing the local architecture prominent in the Ramsden Village.

GPAD gets planning approval for nine distinct family homes.

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Sitting amongst a green belt, the plot is located within existing mature woodland that forms a natural boundary to the neighbouring properties and the main road. The new single villa is configured to sit within the undulating topography and embed sensitively within the protected habitat. The low-carbon proposal features nine generously proportioned family homes that widen the offer available locally and support a community of all ages.

Inspired by the working buildings of the surrounding historic farm estates, the material palette and suite of details were developed to celebrate and reinterpret the use of traditional materials, form, and detailing. The timber frame and timber cladding will be constructed and clad from sustainable sources, dramatically reducing its embodied carbon. The material selection, as far as possible, is environmentally friendly with responsibly specified and robust choices that; make reference to their industrial heritage, are contextually suitable, and offer potential for future repair and reuse.

The pitched asymmetric roofs tier down to respond to the undulating site and culminate with a brick collar, which traditionally would have been the chimney stack but has been reinterpreted as a contemporary roof light. The feature provides an abundance of natural daylight and ventilation to circulation cores and top floor apartments. Internally, the upper floors utilise the roof geometry to create unique and distinct double height spaces whilst lower floors are sunken to further embed within the natural site topography.

Gareth Bansor, Director at GPAD adds “Delighted with the approval for New Road. A housing scheme that is truly sustainable inspired by the rural working buildings that once populated the surrounding historic farm estates. It clearly demonstrates the practice’s focus on whole-life carbon. Designed to passivhaus standards with on-site renewables and a mass timber construction it will deliver nine lowcarbon homes for local people set within an enhanced mature landscape that delivers a 17% increase in biodiversity.”

Featured in Building Design.

Full project information here.

Planning approved for Temple Fortune, 11 homes and health centre in Barnet

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Located Northwest of Hamstead Heath and adjacent to the Hampstead Garden Suburb Conservation Area in Barnet, the site is occupied by an NHS doctors’ surgery, owned by the doctors who run and work in the facility. The existing building is not inclusive or accessible, nor does it meet modern healthcare standards. Itcannot accommodate the growing patient numbers or the changing approach to providing community care.

“Quite simply, our building is no longer fit for purpose. It isn’t fit for today’s needs and most definitely is not fit for the decades ahead. The community needs a better centre.” – Dr Karen Grossmark, Temple Fortune Health Centre owner.

The scheme proposes a new tiered four-storey building with a 567 sqm medical centre that occupies the ground level. Parking and plant areas have been designed in the basement with 11 residential units on floors 1-3 and a heavily planted communal roof garden above. The site requires the flats to be developed above to help fund the new, much-needed, health centre and ensure that the building maximises the potential of the site.

“The clients wanted a highly functional building, that allows them to continue to care for the community they have worked in for a long time and generate value to pay for the works through residential space. We wanted to meet this dual-use brief, whilst providing a building that recognises the textured and leafy nature of the context and makes a positive contribution to the local community”. Charles Bettes, GPAD Managing Director.

The Architecture

Care has been taken to ensure the proposals respond to the street, setting the building away from the boundary line and introducing a sculpted ground floor façade ensures privacy internally, whilst creating curved pockets along the street. These pockets are filled with planting that greens the area between pavement and building, enhances the street, and provides spaces for the public. An element of craft is introduced at a human scale through the patterned reconstituted stone facade.

The entrance to the health centre has been located to the corner and set in from the building line to provide a legible entry to the centre. The curve on this corner softens the mass and suits the shape of the site. This form is continued on the upper floors, which are set back from the ground floor, providing another opportunity for greening at the first-floor level and further reducing the impact of the building mass. These setbacks provide south-facing amenity space that is shielded from the street and the curved forms providerhythm to the building.

Environmental Impact

The building responds to the heritage of the area, whilst being clearly contemporary. It utilises durable materials such as reconstituted stone and brick paired with robust junctions that will age and weather well, ensuring longevity. Fourteen new trees with many plants are being proposed across the site at various levels pushing biodiversity and urban greening. The combination of planting and materials was selected to ground the scheme within the context and provide interest at the upper levels of the building.

A combination of passive measures, high-efficiency services, utilisation of heat pumps and consideration ofthe fabric have been designed into the scheme and will be developed during detailed design to minimise CO2 emissions.

Project Address:  23 Temple Fortune Lane, London, NW11 7TE

Project Team:
Development Manager​​​​​: ACRE
Planning Consultant​​​​​​: MJP Planning
Affordable Housing Statement​​​​: Turner Morum
Air Quality Assessment​​​​​: Redmore
Daylight and Sunlight Assessment​​​​: Herrington
Drainage Strategy and SUDs report: ​​​​The PES (EB7)
Ecological Assessment (incl. BNG)​​​: ​Green Shoots
Energy Assessment (incl. BREEAM)​​​​: MWL 
Utilities Assessment​​​​​​: MWL
Fire Statement​​​​​​​: CHPK
Heritage Impact Assessment​​​​​: Heritage Collective
Land Contamination Assessment​​​​: Ensafe
Landscaping Scheme (incl. UGF)​​​​: John Davies Landscaping
Noise Impact Assessment: ​​​​​ALN Acoustics
Statement of Community Involvement: ​​​Local Dialogue
Transport Assessment and Construction Logistics Plan​: EAS 
Tree Survey and Report​​​​​: Patrick Stileman