Umpire View

This modest housing development in Harrow shows how simple yet distinctive design can rethink the ubiquitous suburban home. The project includes twenty seven new homes for Notting Hill Housing Trust on part of a disused greenfield site adjacent to the local Church, Vicarage and Church Hall.

The new homes, which are a mix of family houses and flats, are focussed around a new village green which has transferred into public ownership, safeguarding its future and creating a place for children to play, a morning run or a walk with the dog. The houses are set back from the road with careful articulation of the entrances and landscaped forecourts overlooking the park. Rear gardens are predominantly south facing with access from the living rooms and the street. Expressed gables signify the individual houses and reference surrounding typologies.

The development achieves the now defunct Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 as well as a being designed to Lifetime Homes standards and Secured by Design Gold award. Read more about making a home here

Client: Notting Hill Housing/Bugler Developments
Completion: Dec 2017
Cost: £4.3 million
Location: Harrow, London

2018 RICS Award: residential category (shortlisted)
RIBA Journal

Architecture Today

View looking south over the new public park

With an outlook over a new public park, views towards the former Kodak factory site with its iconic chimney and the Stanmore hills beyond, the development makes a place for people of all ages to enjoy. The scheme interprets the Edwardian vernacular buildings of surrounding streets using materials which complement the adjacent red brick and clay tile roof of St George’s Church and Hall.

The flats are located in small blocks at the ends and corner of the development. Rear gardens include patios and space to store bikes and dry clothes. Each home includes a designated parking space which is forms part of the landscape frontage to the street. Tree planting and low level shrubs along this edge create a soft edge to the park.

The scheme also contains three wheelchair adaptable flats. The housing forms an ‘L’ shape around the edge of the park with two different house types: a 3b4p home and a 3b5p home bring variety to the streetscape. The development consists of 12 houses and 15 flats. Eleven are classified affordable rental and the remaining properties are shared ownership.

Site plan showing the new housing and park

The surrounding buildings are predominantly suburban in character are an example of the ‘Metroland’ development that defines this area of North West London. Developed at the beginning of the 20th century to provide an alternative to living in the overcrowded city. The Metropolitan Railway promoted the development of large tracts of farmland which became accessible by their new rail connections to and from Central London. The area has a mixture of large detached Victorian houses and later semi detached properties which have been extended and altered over the years. Despite this it is still possible to pick out similar, repeating house types in the surrounding streets, often with identical plans internally but dressed differently outside.

You can read more about the design of the scheme and the background of suburban housing here here

Analysis of the different house types in surrounding streets

The development is designed to Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 and includes several environmental features:
– On site renewable energy generation via PV panels on all roofs
– Porous paving to hard landscaped areas
– Swale running along park edge as part of Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs) system
– Natural daylighting and ventilation
– Better than building regulations thermal performance (U-values)
– High performance glazing
– Planting strategy including 20 + new trees
– Creation of new public green space
– On site cycle storage for each new home