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Axwell Park Courtyard, a secluded development set in a landscape of woodlands. Visiting the scheme, it genuinely feels like the countryside. In this post, I will be analysing the development in relation to the Building for Life 12 criteria; designed to help structure discussions on new residential developments to help identify what issues matter to local communities and how development proposals can respond positively [2].

Integrating into the Neighbourhood

1. Connections

  • Site is secluded, may be difficult to create new connections.
  • Site benefits from bus stop at the edge of the boundary, A694.
  • Fits in with surrounding traditional terraced housing and style.

2. Facilities and Service 

  • Close drive to local landmarks and amenities, however less within walking distance.
  • Residents are entitled to take advantage of historic Park.

3. Public Transport 

  • Bus stops Red Kite (45, 47, X45, X46, X47), 890, 899, S893.
  • Access to amenities and Newcastle city centre.
Author’s own | Connections and services with the surrounding environment along with bus stops

4. Meeting local housing requirements 

  • 6 property styles of townhouses and apartments (27 units).
  • Prices start from £179,950, accommodating younger and older residents [1].
Axwell Park (n.d.) | 6 different property styles

Creating a place

5. Character

  • Change in façade – outer vs inner courtyard.
  • Palladian architectural authenticity alongside a new modern style, creates a distinctive identity [4].
  • Arrangement of townhouses and apartments encourages a sense of community centred at the courtyard.
Author’s Own | Palladian architectural style alongside a contemporary mix (left), Outer façade (top right), Comparison to Axwell Hall (bottom right)

6. Working with the site and its context 

  • Views created within the courtyard.
  • Potential to create views towards the park.
  • Site works alongside existing Palladian style. [3]
  • Axwell Hall can be further developed into a community hub in the future.

7. Creating well-defined streets and spaces

  • Streets and spaces are well defined, with no sharp turns.
  • Road is wide and mixed-use friendly within the courtyard.
  • Open park space well defined for private residential use.

8. Easy to find your way around

  • Clear route into the estate defined by woodland.
  • No visual impairments around the site.
  • Built form creates a well navigable estate.
Author’s Own | 35 acres of landscape for residents

Street & Home

9. Streets for All 

  • 10mph sign on roads.
  • Courtyard and surrounding landscape creates social spaces.

10. Car Parking 

  • Sufficient visitor car parking available around Axwell Hall.
  • One allocated private parking space for residents in the courtyard.

11. Public and Private spaces 

  • Courtyard emboldens social interaction.
  • 35-acre open park landscape encouraging play.
  • Spaces are well managed and attractive.
Author’s Own | Designated car parking within the courtyard

12. External Storage and Amenity Space 

  • Communal bin storage
  • Cycle storage within the courtyard.
  • Plentiful landscape for residents to interact and play.
Author’s Own | Courtyard cycle storage + Communal bin storage

Overall, the scheme scored 8 greens and 4 ambersThe scheme respects the surrounding area and history, creating a well-off countryside like estate, enhancing social interaction whilst being nearby the city centre. Overall, this is a well-designed housing development with various positive aspects!

 


References:

[1] Axwell Park. (n.d.). Life in the Park. [online] Available at: http://www.axwellpark.co.uk/the-development Accessed 22/02/2020.

[2] Building For Life. (2020). About built for life. [online] Available at: http://www.builtforlifehomes.org/go/about. Accessed on: 23/02/20.

[3] Henderson, T. (2016). Axwell Hall in Derwent Valley to be converted into 20 homes as it gets new lease of life at last. Chronicle Live. [online] Available at: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/property-news/axwell-hall-derwent-valley-converted-10788372 Accessed 23/02/2020.

[4] Mellor Architects. (2019). Axwell Estate. [online] Available at: https://www.mellorarchitects.com/axwell-estate Accessed 23/02/2020.

 

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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