Flats & Houses with Central Opens Space Hertfordshire
50 no flats & houses with Central Open Space
Hard & soft landscape concept & detailed design
Build Completion early 2016
The 0.77 hectare Former Clock House Hotel site is situated adjacent to the A1 motorway and provides 1-2 bed units with associated car parking.
The site was developed by the architects to distance the main living spaces as far away from the motorway as possible. A landscape buffer zone boarders the site boundary on the road side followed by the main car parking area which adds further distance from the living spaces.
The main amenity space for the development is located between apartment blocks offering the best sanctuary from noise and air pollution. This forms the main Public open space of the site.
The architect’s vision for the building facade was one of natural materials and contemporary colour palette with timber cladding and charcoal brick. The landscape responded to this naturalistic concept through meandering swaths of grass and shrub block planting of to echo contrasting texture and colour of the buildings.
Paving to front doors was designed to have edges with a naturally integrated feel. Staggered & offset paving eliminated hard straight lines while the meandering form of the central path further emphasised the natural form as well as relating to the structure of the planting.
Materials such as resin bound gravel to the central path offered a natural aesthetic while maintaining a clean finish, while decking and timber cladding to a vast concrete retaining wall offered a link between the building facade and the landscape materials.
The design of the tree scape was important for two reasons. In the first instance trees were needed for noise absorption and screening of the busy road, and secondly for the creation of vertical interest and to offer an equating scale of the landscape and the buildings within the central open space. The trees within this area bring a human scale to the space as well as a softening to the building mass and screening between plots.