Barclay Street Housing for Lorreto Housing Association
April 30, 2018 \ Places to Live
by Anthony Newman
Team members Marianne Partyka and Anthony Newman review our recently completed project for Lorreto Housing Association.
Edges of neighbourhoods are always fertile ground for interesting built developments. The core of residential neighbourhoods are often characterised by an adherence to a unifying self-contained typology. Think of our tenemental settings, street after street of tough urban edges enclosing more private backcourts, streets of terrace houses arrayed in repeated variations on a theme, or the suburban cul de sac model rippling out in all directions.
It is where these settlement patterns touch the edge of the topography, bump up against a road, railway or river or simply stop that interesting variations often happen. Barclay Street, on the edge of Springburn for Lorreto Housing Association is one such moment. Here the association had acquired a site of a demolished school which stepping down the hill from what was once a dense tenemental area, was sliced through by the road system that cut through Springburn.
What was once at the heart of Springburn became a fragmented edge of retaining walls and historic tree planting into which the Association sought to implant a new community of dwellings. The need to keep the number of units below 50 determined that a strategy of following the street edge, would be a forlorn attempt at reintroducing the lost urban tenemental pattern.
The result was an alternative village like gardenesque approach that sought to internalise the creative spirit. This took the form of a series of internal garden platforms, framed by timber crib wall retaining structures, all edged by radiating slabs of built form stepping down the hill exploiting the original platforming and weaving between the tree lined edges of the site with from one to up to four levels of building. Looking at the whole ensemble it is hard not to evoke fond memories of the stepping forms of Italian hillside villages.
The blocks by economic necessity are very simple in form, but what we’ve seen in recent reviews of the landscaping of some of our projects, is how the landscape will evolve and eventually take over, creating the setting for domestic life. So here on this battered found edge it is imagined that the existing and mature landscape will grow to embed the blocks into an oasis of hillside platforms looking out across the city through the veil of green that the low density supports. These leftover edges find new attention here as inset terraces for thinking about different ways of living in the city
Our Unwanted Heritage
April 27, 2018 \ Studio
by Natalia Burakowska
What do we do with buildings for which we have no affection, but which might still have some architectural value?