Rochester Way in Greenwich

Rochester Way in Greenwich

Architect
Peter Barber Architects
Location
London, UK | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Housing
Morley Von Sternberg

five terraces of affordable homes in Greenwich

Peter Barber Architects as Architects

Rochester Way is a new high density, low rise, street-based neighbourhood. The project is part of an ambitious programme across a number of sites for the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Meridian Home Start, with a brief to provide new high-quality public housing, densifying underutilised outer parts of the borough.
Organised around three new mews streets (each just 7m wide) the project provides 29 new 100% affordable homes, space for a local corner shop, community hall and space for a local pub or micro-brewery. The brief for community specific uses was developed in consultation with local residents and the client - providing well designed, manageable and viable spaces for a range of community needs previously lacking in the local area.


The relatively low PTAL (despite new infrastructure at nearby Kidbrooke) meant there were initial planning constraints around targeted densities. However, the innovative design of the new homes (a notched courtyard house type) ensured homes could be pushed closer together along intimate mews streets without privacy issues, whilst still ensuring positive overlooking of the new streets. The homes step up to three storeys along Rochester Way and Briset Road, forming a taller, positive edge to the wider roads and open green space.


The typical mews houses are designed with ground floor bedrooms looking into a private courtyard, a bright open plan living and kitchen space at first floor leading out through full height glazing to a generous roof terrace. Each new home has its own front door onto the street, encouraging social activity and eliminating any internal communal circulation (significantly reducing both construction and long-term maintenance costs for the client). Not only does the scheme sensitively achieve a very ambitious density for the local area (approximately 400 hab rooms/hectare), it also provides over five times the private amenity required by the GLA.


The new tree lined mews are designed as shared-surface spaces, framed by the courtyard houses with roof terraces, window boxes, balconies creating picturesque, well overlooked and activated public spaces for kids to play in and for the neighbourhood to enjoy.


Planning was achieved in late 2016, with site work commencing in March 2018 and completion in June 2019. The construction detailing was informed by an ambitious site programme and tight construction budget. Built from traditional masonry, the homes are detailed using straight forward, low cost and robust detailing, coupled with consideration on how to best allocate resources to ensure high-quality within a tight construction budget. A high quality pale rustic brick gives a soft variation in tone across the building elevations, with brick flourishes (wavy parapets, circular windows, projecting brick window borders) giving the project a relaxed, playful feel.


The project meets full Part M accessibility, with 3 fully wheelchair accessible units and all homes designed to encourage social interaction within the significant amount of new shared amenity space. The community spaces are integral to the urban design of the scheme and contribution to the area. Their brick flourishes celebrate the importance of public and community buildings, forming an important new street corner.

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