October 8 2008
An undulating roof links five individual homes and shared family leisure facilities, subtly integrating them with the surrounding landscape and ecology. The buildings have four storeys, three above ground level, with a footprint that covers approximately 2600 sqm of the 6700 sqm site in Preston, Lancashire.
The planning permission is the culmination of extensive work that encompassed detailed research into sustainability, bio-diversity and carbon emission reduction by Kathryn Findlay's practice research unit, Fieldwork, at the University of Dundee, with senior lecturer Doug Allard and students. Buro Happold’s Generative Geometry Unit and Ramboll Whitbybird also collaborated with UFA, providing expertise in the modeling and environmental design of the multi-home residence.
The project embraces sustainable design, with provisions for natural light, solar power and locally sourced materials. Strips of indigenous plants, set within furrows in the roof, will flourish to merge the building with the landscape, and attract local flora and fauna to the site.
The origin of the design lies in a number of UFA's previous residential commissions and the practice's strong history of innovation and developing exciting ideas, from the Truss Wall House in Japan to the ground-breaking Grafton New Hall.
The delivery of planning for Park Houses, on a site that had existing planning permission for four separate new homes and the renovation of an existing one, required a completely new planning application. This was led by Harry Phillips at Holmes Partnership in Glasgow, as part of an ongoing relationship with UFA. Phillips worked closely with UFA to negotiate with the local authority and produce an application, which the planners have described as one of the highest quality and most complete documents they have ever seen.
Kathryn Findlay says: “My design has evolved through the application of in-depth research and extensive collaboration with experts in several fields. It is quite a feat to get planning for such an unusual building but we achieved it because everyone was meticulous in their work and we presented an application that addressed all aspects of the site, the building and its successful realisation. I look forward to moving into the construction phase.”
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