The British Homes Awards

TREES, HIGHGATE

Aiming High

This scheme takes its name from its mature trees to the front and rear, but it was the architecture between the greenery that won over the judges in this category. Trees, which is developed by Hill Homes and One Housing Group, raises the bar in the design of extra care housing with its high quality space internally and its contemporary detailing of traditional materials externally.

It is the first fully affordable housing scheme to be developed in the Highgate area for many years. The design by PRP includes 40 extra care self-contained one and two bedroom apartments, plus amenities such as lounges, hairdressing salon, therapy room, laundry and assisted bathrooms.

Responding to its conservation area location, the scheme is expressed as three distinct building elements connected with glazed links. The building form is articulated as a series of stepped, four storey residential blocks, reflecting the rhythm of the existing street villas. Two single storey wings with planted roofs sit between the trees, integrating with the landscape.

The scheme was conceived before the publication of the report by Housing an Ageing Population: Panel of Innovation (HAPPI) promoting innovative and attractive retirement housing for older people in good locations, but it embodies many of that report’s principles and recommendations.

Design principles include a permeable plan, containing smaller clusters of homes arranged around an internal atrium. This arrangement helps to promote neighbourliness among residents. Circulation areas are designed as meaningful shared spaces encouraging casual social interaction.

The glazed links create informal seating bays and provide views from circulation areas to outside space. These areas help to reduce the effective length of corridors and assist orientation for older people. The naturally lit atrium provides further soft daylighting.

The homes have generous internal space, as well as balconies or terraces. The scheme has a large communal garden at its heart, with a series of pathways leading to sheltered seating, pergolas, planting and terraces all arranged around a linear water feature to create opportunities for social gathering or privacy.

The scheme is designed to exceed current sustainability standards with 40 per cent renewable energy provision.

PRP
Address:
10 Lindsey Street
Smithfield
London
EC1A 9HP
Tel: 020 7653 1200
Fax: 020 7653 1201
Website: www.prparchitects.co.uk
Contact: Michelle Rosello

HOMEBUILDER:

Hill Homes
Address:
Unit 441 Highgate Studios
Highgate Road
London
NW5 1TL
Tel: 020 7482 6173
Website: www.hillhomes.co.uk
Contact: Joe Scullion