New housing for Trafford Housing Trust in Altrincham
The site is set to the north west of Altrincham town centre on the fringe of the suburban area known as Oldfield Brow. Bounded by the Bridgewater Canal to the north, the site enjoys views over the Cheshire Plains and onto Dunham Massey.
The development is a test bed for The Trafford Housing Trust, a social landlord that provides around 9,000 affordable homes within the Trafford area of Manchester, to venture into the private sale market. This new approach will enable the Trust to generate funds for affordable housing schemes elsewhere in the borough.
The overall layout has been developed to work within the context of the existing housing estate. The scheme ‘stitches’ the new houses into the site in the same orthogonal manner as the other adjacent cul-de-sacs, essentially enclosing the anomaly of this underdeveloped site. However, instead of creating a similar terrace development that would terminate Arcon Place, (as found on the surrounding roads), a series of detached units are proposed. This arrangement breaks up the massing and maintains permeability through to the canal, whilst working to a desirable end sales product. The rear of the proposal works to the existing canal side building line set by the adjacent terraces. This helps to further contain the new development within the parameters of the existing Estate. The internal layouts of the houses work to an open plan arrangement to maximise views across the canal. Along the canal side gardens, existing mature trees form a backdrop to the scheme. The trees on the one hand give privacy to the new homes whilst still framing views of the canal. Our approach was to utilise the overriding existing palette of materials found in the Estate – red brick and rosemary clay tiles. Evolving this idea, clay tiles are proposed for both walls and roof, to create a contextual, monolithic treatment that will express the simple volumetric nature of the massing whilst still in harmony with the Estate.
The use of clay tiles also reflected the proposed SIPs (structural insulated panels) construction method. By using this modern method of construction, with effectively a clay rainscreen, the construction period will be 30% quicker than traditional methods, whilst also giving a much more air tight, thermally efficient home. This speed of erection will minimise disruption to the local community.
The project was completed in 2016