Client L&Q (London)
Location Bracknell, UK
During the summer of 2017 Jestico + Whiles was approached by L&Q to take part in an invited competition to design a mixed tenure housing development at Wayland Close, within Bracknell Forest, Berkshire.
The existing site is densely wooded on nearly all boundaries - with mature Scott’s Pine and Silver Birch trees the predominant species - and features apartment buildings of up to three storeys in height across the site. An existing vehicular access road (and associated underground services) to an adjoining development was to be maintained through the site.
The development is well screened from its neighbours because of the mature trees, and enjoys an enclosed woodland feel. Our concept proposes the complete replacement of homes and the retention of all Category A trees. Where any trees are to be removed to make way for new homes, a greater number of new trees are proposed by way of replacement and enhancement.
New buildings ranging between three and seven storeys are proposed to nestle amongst the pine trees, with a woodland glade at the centre of the site to provide a clearing to act as the central focus and social heart of the development, for the enjoyment of all residents.
The taller apartment buildings enjoy at least dual aspect outlook over this central space, with lower density family townhouses enjoying a more secluded location to the south-east of the site. This allows for optimum solar penetration into the site, whilst also creating a series of defined ‘home zones’ for the family houses and apartment buildings.
The massing of both typologies varies in height across the scheme, with further articulation provided in the roof forms to create visual interest.
The external material palette is deliberately simple and robust, with a strong emphasis on longevity and ease of maintenance. Two different types of brick are proposed, to be laid in different ways to provide further variation and interest across the different façades.
The position of adopted streets and below ground services are fully integrated into the design of the new site layout to avoid costly relocation of services and to maintain access to the adjoining residential development. Car parking is either integrated into the curtilage of the townhouses or located in small parking courts to the perimeter of the site, to keep cars away from the external amenity spaces.