The regeneration of Grange Farm aims to create an exemplary mixed-tenure community that sets a new standard for mid-density suburban developments in London.
The existing Grange Farm estate comprises 282 mainly social rented homes, predominantly made up of one and two bedroom ‘resi-form’ prefabricated dwellings arranged in identical three storey clusters. The buildings have not aged well and have come to the end of their life. Harrow Council have developed cross-party support for the regeneration of the entire estate to address its historic flaws and create a higher density, mixed tenure neighbourhood.
over double the previous number whilst increasing home sizes
Won following a limited design competition, our proposal will deliver 574 new homes, of which 38% will be for social rent, 4% for shared ownership and 58% will be for private sale. The scheme will also deliver a new community centre at the heart of the site. Phase 01, consisting of 89 social rent and shared ownership homes is due to begin on site in early 2019.
of which 90% are social rent homes
The challenge was to double the density of the estate, whilst maintaining open space and without breaching strict height restrictions imposed by the safeguarding zones surrounding RAF Northolt Airport, just 4km away. As well as provide new homes for the existing residents, private homes have been introduced to subsidise the affordable homes and create a mixed tenure community.
Due to its history as a working farm up until the mid-twentieth century, the existing estate is isolated from neighbouring communities with limited dead-end access routes. Whilst the estate benefits from extensive open green space and numerous mature trees, it lacks definition and ownership. The over-riding design objective has therefore been to open up the estate, creating a series of distinct public open spaces and private gardens of varying character that stitches the design into the local area to create a neighbourhood that is a natural extension of South Harrow.
of new landscaped open space
The big idea
Our masterplan proposes a network of public streets and squares which create a legible series of multi-functional open spaces for public and communal use. A series of improved and new pedestrian routes are also proposed to increase connectivity to the wider area and local transport. All routes converge at the heart of the scheme, where a new civic square provides a gathering point in front of a new community centre, with a ‘Village Green’ beyond.
The small detail
Three distinct residential typologies are proposed that respond sensitively to their surroundings, designed to integrate the scheme within the existing context. Each typology has its own unique architectural character which responds to its location within the masterplan and surrounding context, whilst sharing common features and materiality to create a unified and coherent community, all inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement which is prevalent in the vernacular of South Harrow.
Smaller scale, metroland plots are located on the northern and western edges of the site, featuring low rise buildings, steep roof pitches, dormers and varied domestic architectural details to echo the adjacent suburban context. Medium scale courtyard blocks are located at the centre of the site which define intimate white brick clad communal residents’ gardens, combined with a more formal urban exterior featuring striking pitched gables. These blocks incorporate a unique folding roof design, developed to achieve the required housing density and generous living spaces without breaching strict height restrictions imposed by RAF Northolt. To the southern boundaries of the site, linear mansion plots are proposed which relate to the urban character of Northolt Road, featuring more unified, bold and repetitive details and flat roofs. Inspired by the ‘Great Barn’ which once stood on the site, the new Community Centre is designed to have a distinct character, with timber cladding to distinguish it from the brick clad residential typologies.