Community Dwellings, Suffolk

From an invited shortlist, David was asked to submit strategies for the development of community dwellings within a plot on the periphery of a small market town in Suffolk.

The site is within the grounds of a country estate on the outskirts of the town.

The client wanted to investigate how he could develop a corner of the estate for the local community.

After studying local planning requirements, a masterplan was designed. This consisted of new build low-density housing and associated community facilities housed within existing agricultural barn buildings. The dwellings were organised around existing mature planting and natural ponds, which were incorporated into a sustainable drainage system (SuDS).

Cycleways, bridleways and footpaths were prioritised over vehicular access routes, thereby reinforcing a sense of community, natural surveillance and human scale.

Site orientation and relationships with the existing context were essential to the design strategy. Each dwelling was designed to have a South West facing private courtyard, communal garden and seating to the public facing elevations.

Precedents were drawn from regional modernist housing developments and research into providing community orientated public realm.