Archive for the ‘Urban Design’ Category

Revealing the Sub\Urbia House – A super dense prototype terraced house

Monday, July 9th, 2018

At Snug we are always actively seeking to develop and refine new housing typologies that will help to solve the #housing #housingcrisis. As a company, our mission is to ‘create great places and prosper people’. This year we  have developed a new prototype high density terraced house. We decided to submit it to @BritHomesAwards Sunday Times readers’ choice home competition. It didn’t exactly fit the brief and so, perhaps not entirely surprisingly, it was not shortlisted. In our humble opinion the concept remains a thoroughly ground breaking approach to high density terraced housing. Now that the competition is over we are pleased to be able to reveal the design.

The Sub\Urbia House.

In summary, the Sub\Urbia House delivers high density housing at over 100dph without forfeiting the much loved character of suburbia. Our aim is to create a single house type that contains all steps in the housing ladder. High density homes where all ages, including families, would love to live.

Sub\

\Urbia

 

The Design Philosophy

We wish to live at low density but we must build at high density if we are to solve the housing crisis. To do this we need to build at urban densities in excess of 75dph. The problem is, British people don’t generally like living at higher densities. We love our houses and we love having a home with its own front door. The Sub\Urbia House squares this circle.

The proposal has the appearance and feel of the suburban places British people love, but at a density well in excess of 75dph. The Sub\Urbia House delivers 100dph without compromising any of the things we love about suburbia.

The key idea – We live between walls. The traditional terrace has party walls side to side. The Sub\Urbia House has both side and rear party walls. This unlocks the potential for an increased density and, as a result, it creates a two faced typology. One face, providing a pair of three bedroom family townhouses faces the more generous public realm, akin to places like Accordia and creates a modern suburbia. The other face provides a one bed city pad and 2no. two bedroom duplex units facing onto a more urban street. The result is a whole new urban condition, what we are calling urbia.

 

Our intention is to create the ultimate mixed tenure neighbourhood. Each 10m x 20m component contains 1 one bed, 2 two beds and 2 three bed homes. Five homes are provided within the plot. In this one typology we provide for the whole housing ladder to live. This results in the ultimate sustainable community where entry level flats coexist with aspirational family homes. Sub\Urbia would be the kind of place everyone would love to call home.

In addition to providing every size of home needed to climb the housing ladder the Sub\Urbia House provides plenty of proportionate outside amenity spaces, well related to living accommodation and daylight. The idea is both simple and sophisticated. The Sub\Urbia House takes a traditional Georgian townhouse and mews, retains the front garden and hedge, pulls back and stacks the mews, lifts the rear garden to the roof and pumps up the density.

The Sub\ House is a three bed family home that comes with a generous roof garden, dual aspect living room and private balconies off the bedrooms. This includes front garden located off the master bedroom, efficiently located above, and sheltering, the bin and bike store to form a covered porch.

The Sub\ House comes in two configurations. It can either be a generous family home with ground floor kitchen diner off a secure parking court/play space with generous living room and roof garden on the top floor or, alternatively, it can provide a live/work home with a ground floor studio space and top floor kitchen/dining/living space.

The \Urbia homes are provided with a generous balcony to each unit which overlook the street and evoke a multi-level sense of inhabitation prevalent to an urban street scene.

\Urbia is a ground floor entry level city pad, our fastest selling typology, with its private covered balcony/porch. Adjacent to this is the entrance to a pair of two bed duplex units. Alongside is a secure bin/bike store and electric carshare garage.

Urbia\ is about starting out and moving up the housing ladder. It is cost effective, efficient, urban. Sub\ is about settling down. It is elegant, stylish, spacious and sylvan. Together, both sides of the Sub\Urbia House create the perfect neighborhood.

As an urban layout it is flexible and can create multiple combinations of streets and squares. The intention is for every neighbourhood to be Sub\Urbia.

This is a concept that builds upon the nation’s innovative history of dwelling. So many variations of terraces exist, be it a Scottish tenement, a Tyneside flat, a Yorkshire back to back, a Mansion and Mews in London or a post war duplex. Sub/Urbia intends to evoke in some way all these typologies as inspiration for a new way of living that seeks to solve the housing crisis. It is high density land use without the high density character!

Construction

This is intended to be a mass produced typology that can be delivered by the traditional British construction industry as well as more innovative developers, willing to trail modern methods of construction. It is important to note that most domestic scale buildings, built between stacking party walls, can be built using any and all forms of construction.  The right choice is a matter of procurement and supply chains.

Depending on the number of units being commissioned the design is intended to be constructed either using off site  fabrication or, if volumes are low, using traditional forms of construction. Importantly this is not a frame building and it can be constructed using standard lintels and traditional materials. We are passionate about building houses that last. Speed of construction must not trump long life.

The superstructure for the first three floors is proposed as CLT and the primary façade material is brick slips, allowing speed/off site fabrication. It could just as easily be masonry and brick or blockwork and render.  More distinctive materials are then proposed for the expressive top floor living rooms and inset balconies. These are illustrated as zinc but could be timber or fibre cement panels. Our current cladding of choice is burnt larch. It is beautiful and does not require maintenance.

Internally the house provides efficient modern living with positive inside/outside connections, despite the single aspect configuration. The top floor living room is a delight. Lofty, dual aspect onto private amenity space and enjoying a wood bring stove. This is everyone’s dream garden room but up on the roof.

To find out more about this highly innovative house type please call the office. It is a highly versatile concept that could be applied or adapted to almost any modern housing development.

 

KEY PROJECT DATA

 Floor Areas:

3 bed townhouse – 113m2

2 bed duplex – 64.6 and 70.2m2

1 bed city pad – 40.3m2

GIA – 455.5m2 per 200m2 plot.

NIA – 401.1m2 per 200m2 plot providing over 200% land utilization.

 

Build costs:

Component cost – £730,125

Total build cost for 20 units – £2,920,500 (excludes economies of scale)

Average unit cost – £146,000/unit

Construction cost – £1,603/m2

 

Density:

Plot Density – 250 dwellings per hectare within the plot or 550 bedrooms/hectare

Place Density – 100 dwelling per hectare once roads and communal landscape accounted for or 220 bedrooms/hectare

 

The Exhibition Boards:

The Sunday Times Readers’ Choice Award_P869_4xA3 Presentation

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

Great new video of our Milford Beach Huts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1X1rN2aacE

 

Snug wins a Civic Trust Award

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

We are delighted to have been awarded a Civic Trust Award @CTAwards #CTA2018 for our Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts and Public Realm Improvements. The Civic Trust Awards were launched in 1959 and are the oldest architectural and built environment awards scheme in Europe, committed to ‘recognising the best in the built environment.’ 

It is a great moment for us and we are humbled to be one of only thirteen UK award winners. A huge thank you to Ryan Bond, the project architect and our design partners, Ramboll. This sort of project would not be possible without a great client and we want to thank New Forest District Council for believing in us and our ideas. It was not always easy. Knights Brown, the contractors, were also excellent and a pleasure to work with.

What was of note at this years ceremony was the strength of architectural talent now residing in Hampshire. No less than two awards and one commendation went to Hampshire firms; Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, Design Engine and Snug. An achievement our region should rightly be very satisfied with.

A final surprise for us was to discover our project was on the front page of the awards publication!

Highly Commended at The Concrete Society Awards 2017

Monday, December 11th, 2017

We were delighted that our project for the Milford-on-sea Beach Huts was highly commended at the Concrete Society Awards 2017. We came runner up to the Forth Replacement Crossing road bridge! Other shortlisted projects included work by some great architects, including Fosters and projects that included the V&A Museum of Design, Dundee. It was a privilege to stand out in such a high class line up. The winning projects are featured in the December copy of Concrete @ukConcrete.

The section on our project is shown below.

Bangladesh Government Delegation visit to Milford-on-sea Beach Huts

Friday, October 6th, 2017

New Forest District Council and Snug Architects hosted a delegation of visitors from Bangladesh today (Friday 6 October 2017) interested in UK coastal defence measures.

Representatives from the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) met with representatives from the council and Snug Architects, who designed the beach huts, to hear how the council is taking a holistic approach to coastal sea defence.

The twelve visitors then went on to see the recently-completed beach huts at Milford-on-Sea as part of the senior officials’ visit to the UK, Holland and Germany to look at examples of coastal engineering, infrastructure development, and emergency management.

Bangladesh has a difficult coastline with many rivers and distributaries which are often affected by natural hazards such as cyclones, coastal flooding and tidal surges. The Bangladesh government believes that by focusing on these key areas, the country will better be able to cope with the extreme flooding which at times covers 26,000kms of the country.

The visit to the Milford-on-sea beach huts was to see how they have been designed and built as inhabited infrastructure  able to both withstand severe coastal weather and provide for various types of value added inhabitation. It is hoped this will help when designing this type of infrastructure upon the officials’ return to Bangladesh.

Steve Cook, Coastal manager at NFDC said, “We are extremely proud of the beach huts, which had to be rebuilt due to severe weather damage which destroyed the huts that were here in 2014.  Working with the architects we have built the replacement huts so that they can withstand a 1:200 year storm event.”

The project demonstrates that through creative engagement between funders, authorities and their design teams, significant added value can be achieved when delivering essential infrastructure. The project, although small in scale, represents some big ideas. Our hope is that it will inspire others to take a similar approach elsewhere. Perhaps and not least in Bangladesh.

Form Follows Force Part 2

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Here are the second batch of images on our new housing and apartment typologies. These images explore how a large scale settlement edge development can be sympathetically integrated into its setting, creating a humane settlement edge where people will love to live and impact is minimised. Let us know what you think….


Central Winchester SPD goes live

Friday, July 14th, 2017

We are proud to announce that the vision for the central Winchester masterplan has now been presented to the public.

Working with JTP Architects and involving extensive public engagement we have developed a vision for a pedestrian friendly quarter in central Winchester. This includes:

  • a new mixed-use quarter, including retail, market, commercial, cultural, housing and community uses to complement the city centre and serve the whole community
  • plans for attractive buildings, streets and places, designed and laid out with a Winchester character and scale – described as “Winchesterness”.
  • a range of active and restful spaces in the heart of the city, including the opening up of the brook to the east of the site
  • developing a footprint for the way the public realm will be developed across the whole area
  • creating a new bus hub and routing buses away from The Broadway and High Street to allow for environmental improvements to accommodate markets and other street based activities.

These proposals will now inform the development of a Supplementary Planning Document for the future development of the site.

Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts ready for occupation

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
 
Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts and Public Realm Improvements 
The Milford-on-Sea Beach Huts and Public Realm Improvements at have now been completed.
After the original terrace of beach huts were severely damaged in a huge storm on Valentine’s Day 2014, New Forest District Council agreed to replace the 119 beach huts and, following our involvement, took the decision to use the opportunity to improve Milford’s seafront for residents and visitors.
The brief was to design identical replacement huts that could withstand a 1:200 year storm event. Critical constraints were; there could be no increase in the height or change to the location of the huts. Through engagement with the public and a public exhibition, attended by over 600 local residents, we were able to establish support for significant enhancements to the project. The most significant was moving the promenade onto the roof. This has opened up a whole new waterfront experience, visitors now able to enjoy uninterrupted views  of the coastline and the Needles. This increase in the area of upper prom then allowed us to move the beach huts further back, away from the sea, reducing their exposure, widening the lower prom and increasing the space available for beach hut owners.
The new huts are very robust, constructed of concrete c-sections with precast graphic concrete front panels and marine ply doors. The beach hut owners were presented with a carefully selected pallet of colours to choose from for their new doors. Our objective was to achieve vibrant highlights of yellow and pink against a predominantly blue back drop. The challenge was how to achieve this whilst having no control over peoples individual colour choices. To achieve this we banked on blue being peoples favourite choice. To ensure this would become the dominant colour we provided a choice of vibrant pint, a zesty yellow and a subtly distinctive lime green as well as two shades of blue. The result was a randomly selected colour scheme that achieved exactly what we were hoping.
 
In addition to these primary moves, the scheme also benefits from a number of more subtle marginal gains. By narrowing the party walls we have been able to shorten the overall length so that one whole terrace of huts could be removed from the most exposed section of the waterfront. This has the added benefit of opening up new views, and along a greater extent of the promenade.

A walkway with handrails has been installed along the tops of the beach huts, with connecting bridges between sections of terraces enabling pedestrians to enjoy the spectacular Solent views from an elevated position. Steps up to the rooftop walkway from the rear upper promenade double as extra seating for visitors, interspersed with benches.A galvanised steel ramp now curves around the World War II pillbox at the western end of the site and concrete ramps have been installed to give wheelchair users and pushchairs access to both promenades.

Construction techniques more common to civil engineering projects were employed to create structures designed to withstand the conditions. Pre-cast concrete sections form the body of the huts. The design is softened by concrete front panels featuring a range of coastal-inspired designs from pebbles to Keyhaven River and the Needles. A new sea wall has also been incorporated into the rear of the huts to improve the coastal defences.

 
The project is an exercise in concrete design and the use of a bespoke Reckli formwork liner allowed us to create a bespoke piece of public artwork on the end of each terrace, adjacent to the improved access steps.

The project was managed by a project team made up of NFDC councillors and officers along with representatives of Milford Parish Council and the New Forest Beach Hut Owners’ Association.Engineering consultancy Ramboll UK Ltd led the design development of the scheme for NFDC, appointing Totton-based Snug Architects to develop the vision. Importantly, early design ideas were shared with the public and their views taken into consideration when the project team selected the preferred design.

Damian Westlake of Ramboll UK Ltd, who led the design team said “We were delighted to have the opportunity to design and supervise this interesting and challenging scheme. The design started with an aspiration to enhance the waterfront, provide robust beach huts and meet the needs of beach hut users, local people and visitors. Through close working with NFDC, project stakeholders and latterly with Raymond Brown Construction Ltd, we believe that the new beach huts and promenade areas have been designed and constructed in a way that fully realises this aspiration.

Following design development and public feedback the scope of the scheme expanded to include improving the public areas around the beach huts, which resulted in an increase in the original budget which had been based on like for like replacement. A budget of £1.26million was allocated in 2014 for the like for like replacement of 119 beach huts at Milford-on-Sea. The scheme expanded to include improvements to the public areas around the huts, resulting in a total investment in the seafront and 119 replacement beach huts of £2.36million. This includes £430,000 contributed to the rebuild costs by the owners of the 119 beach huts.

Raymond Brown Construction of Ringwood, began construction in September 2016 and completed the build on schedule. Kevin Valentine, Divisional Director for Raymond Brown Construction said: “It has been a pleasure to work with New Forest District Council on this project. Our team has worked diligently to deliver the scheme in time for the summer season and fully in line with expectations. I know we are all proud of the end result and hope the community and visitors alike will enjoy the new facilities”. 

 The result is a subtle transformed and highly distinctive new waterfront for both the beach hut owners, residents and visitors at Milford-on-Sea. The project is also an exercise in how sea defences can be effectively inhabited. The integration of sea wall, beach huts and promenade into a single integrated entity has resulted in significant added value and is a case study of how our coastlines could be transformed in an age of climate change.
Paul Bulkeley, Snug’s Design Director sums it up: “This is a great example of what can happen when you have an open minded client and dynamic collaboration between architect and engineer. This is how we will best solve societies emerging challenges. Together we were able to transform what was a disaster for the hut owners into an opportunity for all.”

The Valley, Stanmore submitted for planning

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

We are pleased to have submitted a full planning application for 76 new affordable houses at the Valley, Stanmore on behalf of Winchester City Council’s New Homes Delivery. This will be their largest scheme to date.

The scheme provides a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom houses and 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The site nestles into the steeply sloping topography creating a new edge to the existing park. The buildings  are positioned in response to existing and proposed patterns of movement through the site. The flats are pitched and facetted in response to the site geometry, reducing the perceived scale of the buildings and softening their impact on the landscape. The approach to the buildings form and appearance is derived from a contextual analysis of the existing Stanmore estate’s arts and crafts character and results in a significant new development that sits comfortably in its setting.

The application was developed through a comprehensive process of public engagement with the local community and will deliver much needed affordable housing for the city.

Elephant Cage – Part 2

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Following last November’s involvement with the ‘Elephant Cage’ symposium, #ECage17, Richard joined a number of talented Anglo-Dutch Architects and Engineers on an invigorating and inspirational trip to the Netherlands, to reflect on the conceptual proposals for the ongoing strategy for Sea Defence along Southsea seafront.

As part of this trip Richard was able to view and talk to the original designers and engineers responsible for world renowned infrastructure projects that seek to integrate within their environment to enhance as well as protect the urban context.
It was heartening to find so many parallels with these global leaders in design and innovation, sharing many of the values and strategies that Snug has been promoting in our own work and thinking.
And of course, no trip to the Netherlands would be complete without a tour of some of the most sublime and eccentric architecture our planet has to offer! Markethaal by MVRDV; De Rotterdam by OMA; Delft Railway Station by Mechanoo and the Cube Houses by Piet Bloom to name just a few!
Thanks to @ProjCompass @ArchLokaal @arch_port  with our media sponsors the Architects Journal @ArchitectsJrnal 
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