Bissett Court, Hallglen
Loretto Housing Association
Edge development with distinct identity connecting with the landscape
Gaps between the neighbouring blocks of plain but dignified 1950s tenements and terraces were in the process of being infilled by strings of detached private blocks, a local authority desire to widen tenure choice in the area.
Into this context, our design for the housing sought to create, in built form, the Association’s brief for inclusive housing, a collective and unified development, but one that incorporated a variety of house types reflecting the character of their tenants.
Internally the flat types aimed to provide layout and living options – garden aspect living rooms, central kitchens with dining areas at windows and more generous ‘break-out’ space on landings within family houses. Within the 26 different house types, we integrated the various supported residences and a central common facility housing staff and day-care provision.
The grouping of the housing around a central street and its integration of cars became an early move towards the Dutch-inspired Homezone movement and featured within the Scottish Government’s new document ‘Designing Places’. This safe environment will apply also for housing accessed from the faster Glenburn Road.
We saw Glenburn Road as an opportunity to complete a unique 1970’s vision for suburban housing in the landscape. The combination of landscape and abstract modern housing creates a distinct topography familiar to passers-by on the Glasgow-Edinburgh main line. The former public house site opens on to a recreation ground which in-turn opened up to the landscape beyond. Here you could feel both part of the town and part of the country and we wanted to create a public space for people to move freely and safely between both zones. The shared-surface courtyard provides the necessary parking and access provisions while giving something more – a square for conversation, recreation and play.
“Before we moved here, I was staying in a 3-bedroom house with my six children. Now, we have a 5-bedroom home spread over three floors. My children now have the space to enjoy themselves and regularly have their friends over to play. They have made a lot of new friends in the development and it's great that they have the huge grass area and playpark next to the house. We all like the big windows in the house particularly the kitchen where we look out to the countryside and often see deer while we eat our meals. The windows are also good for me as I can keep an eye on the kids playing outside. The extra shower rooms and the bathroom are great. My daughter loves her room with the velux roof and this was the room most in demand when we moved in!”
Lee Feeney Resident
“Having previously stayed in temporary homeless accommodation with my son, our move to Bissett Court couldn't have come at a better time. The whole development is great, the close is spotless and the storage space is hugely beneficial too. The at is lovely - we particularly like the layout and the wide hallway. My son Jacob is proud to have friends over and some have even thought that our hallway was a communal area of the close due to it's size! We are very happy here and feel good about ourselves!”
George Fyfe Resident
Shortlisted for Affordable Housing Development of the Year, Scottish Home Award 2016