FIRS FIELD HOUSING PROJECT
Year 2 - Housing Complex
“The best way to predict the future, is to create it”. We have been asked to design a ‘sensitive and subtle’ housing scheme to be part of an existing village. To the south side, we must produce a terrace of housing as an almost symbiotic response to the existing on The Firs. We then have the opportunity to choose between the North Road, and The Avenue, to design a less densely populated row of housing in whichever style we feel works best. That brings us to the philosophy. THE FUTURE IS TOGETHER. The focus of our scheme was not just been about retaining the current community feel in the village, but introducing an arrangement of houses which stimulates interaction between different households, whilst minimising the negative effect that the introduced buildings have on the lifestyle of existing residents.
Our scheme takes ideas commonly seen in low profile residential buildings such as bungalows. This allows us to retain the view of the field from upper floors of the existing Firs, as well as bringing some of the field in front of the homes, making up for what was lost. We also took took themes seen in the buildings surrounding Place de Vosges in Paris. Rather then a view above the buildings, why not a view through?
We chose to build on The Avenue and closed off The Firs, making the entire street a shared space used as play area for children, for events to be hosted, or simply for socialising. This is in sync with our goal of breathing new life into the existing community and introduces a new demographic of smaller families or younger couples around Firs Field. The houses are set back and every fifth house is removed, to use as an opening into the park. One end terrace is used as a bike storage and for allotment tools, the other is kept as an open space for farmers markets or other events. On The Avenue, four new semi-detached houses were introduced angled perpendicular to the street as a response to the existing pathways into the park, from the drungs opposite. This orientation also maximises the natural light potential. The side nearer the street is two stories with an upstairs balcony, whilst the other is a bungalow, giving both buildings a view of the park. The two-storey house was designed with larger families in mind, while the bungalow is designed for older couples.