Hillington Square Regeneration Competition
RIBA Ideas competition
The brief for this project was to upgrade an existing social housing block in Kings Lynn Norfolk taking into consideration environmental, social and financial factors.
As with many other social housing developments one of the major issues on this estate was a lack of defined space. Deck access and access from shared courtyard space meant there was a lot of ambiguity of ownership and function in these areas. We wanted to clearly demarcate this space and we wanted to do it by adjusting and adding to the existing fabric without resorting to wholesale demolition and rebuilding.
The environmental strategy is a simple one. Remove all protrusions from the structure. Cut a wedge from the top two storeys of the east west blocks to make a three storey, instead of a five storey street frontage. This allows a narrow entry lane to become feasible, and also allows more sunlight into the courtyards. The remaining structure is then wrapped in a new high specification insulating envelope. New thermally broken structures are added to the south to provide outdoor space to all flats.
Altering the internal layout of the blocks allowed a rebalancing of the ground and first floors to form three and four bedroom family housing from bedsits and two bedroom flats. These alterations allowed the pattern of entry to change so that all residents in a given block would enter from one shared lane instead of multiple access points on all sides of the block. This meant that physically adjacent properties were now neighbours who lived on the same street. New entrance pends from these lanes give access to the upper floor flats and include shared rentable spaces, bike storage and access to a semi-private communal garden. The three and four bedroom flats at ground level have front doors and garages onto the lane, and large private gardens to the rear. New one bedroom mews houses, also accessed from the lane divide the public lane from the private gardens of the neighbouring block.