Our brief was to design a quality place for living on a complex suburban site that contained a large eighteenth-century house. Prospect House, a protected structure, originally commanded a landscaped demesne that had reduced over time as the suburbs grew around it. Latterly the house had been used as a college and more recently a private school. To create a viable future for the house and site we designed a sensitive adaptation of the house as apartments, combined with a contemporary terrace and a pair of mews to frame an attractive landscape setting and form a new entrance to the street and park.
Perpendicular to the house, along the western boundary of the site we designed a row of townhouses, to frame a large, south-facing communal garden area. The brick gable fronts of the townhouses, create a striking form addressing the open space, with the two end houses stepping forward as break-front bookends. This composition reflects the classical formality and gable ends of the historic house. The mews-like brick ‘gate houses‘ on the eastern boundary form a new entrance and connect to the surrounding suburban development. They are set low into the rising ground to minimise impact, with raised sections to frame views of the gable ends of the historic house. The new housing enhances the qualities and setting of the historic house by animating the approach road, framing key views and creating an open, attractive, landscaped forecourt. Pale brick and lime render finishes create a real sense of place, with attractive long range views from the adjoining park and surrounding streets.
Our brief was to design a quality place for living on a complex suburban site that contained a large eighteenth-century house