We were commissioned by Catton Homes to design a high quality development acting as a gateway to Harpenden from Lower Luton Road, Batford. The site will compliment not just the historic surrounding context but also the new school buildings opposite. It will replace an ugly and introverted industrial building and enhance this important corner.
In late September 2021 we had planning permission granted to start the development of this site.
Modern Mill Site Interpretation
The proposal is sympathetic in materials, forms and heights. However the scheme is also contemporary in its detailing and fenestration. An appropriate 21st century interpretation of a mill site.
We envisage a larger scale apartment block to the west, with a row of townhouses running along the northern boundary and two more on the south eastern corner. Two small retail units are located under the apartment building, providing active frontage at ground floor. This provides an interesting mixed development, with varying scales of building related to the surrounding context.
A Sensitive Stepped Approach
We have developed a sensitive massing model that relates sympathetically to the various surrounding buildings and picks up on the vernacular forms present. There are three building types highlighted within the massing - yellow being the two storey houses, green the three storey townhouses and blue the apartment building.
Robust and Simple Detailing
We are interested in taking as inspiration from the local context and re-interpreting these elements and materials in a contemporary manner. There are a number of local architectural elements that inspired us for our own new facades such as: pitched roofs, use of red brick and an expressed base to the buildings.