Vaux Housing

The Vaux neighbourhood forms the first phase of Riverside Sunderland’s transformation; masterplanned by Proctor and Matthews Architects and working closely in collaboration with Vaux has been designed as an exemplar of high-density city living and working. The neighbourhood is inspired by the history, topography and rich cultural heritage of Sunderland, whilst adopting a Smart City infrastructure, and a sustainable development model that will contribute to the city’s carbon-neutral ambition.

Vaux will provide 91 houses and 41 apartments set on the edge of the dramatic River Wear gorge. Vaux will extend this district up to the escarpment edge, creating a bold new silhouette inspired by Sunderland’s historic industrial skyline.

The housing is arranged in five clusters creating a series of sheltered mews streets and courtyards; each with a distinctive character.  Each cluster includes communal amenity spaces to encourage social interaction between neighbours and provide space for children to play close to home.

Three exemplar house types inspired by historic local precedents have been designed to suit 21st century living patterns. The homes will utilise Modern Methods of Construction and a range of sustainable and low carbon technologies (including Passivhaus) and renewable energy contributing to a city-wide commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. All have home working space and private multi-level outdoor amenity space. Parking is located offsite in ‘car barns’ allowing the streets to become the focus of community life.

Designed to promote positive external activity and interaction; public squares, streets and play areas for children will provide a forum for events to take place and form spaces where people can meet to take in the views of the river gorge and wider city.

Vaux is part of a wider City commitment to become a low-carbon economy, be carbon neutral by 2030, be digitally connected, enable people to live healthier lives, provide access to natural assets and deliver clean, green and safe neighbourhoods.

Due to be completed in time for the Sunderland Future Living Expo, a public event that will showcase a new way of city living and the transformation of Riverside Sunderland into one of the UK’s most sustainable and liveable cities for the 21st Century. Incorporating Sunderland’s first passivhaus development this car free development aims to be an exemplar of sustainable living.

2 MawsonKerr Vaux Location Plan

 

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Home of 2030

Looking to answer a number of crucial questions about how we create communities and housing at volume for the future this is our competition winning scheme.

Working with a number of industry leading consultants in a team including, Igloo, Elliott Wood engineers, Useful Projects, Expedition Engineering, Cast Consultancy and Landsmith Associates the scheme was developed over two stages of the competitive process.

Our scheme developed ideas on how the home might be procured and constructed in a bespoke but scalable way. Building homes that are flexible, adaptable and create a sense of community with sustainability and biodiversity hard wired in from the outset. The homes allow density by removing cars to periphery and therefore are safe, inclusive and fun places to live and grow up.

 

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10 MawsonKerr Home of 2030 Exploded House Technical Diagram

 

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Byker Town

With Town - https://www.wearetown.co.uk/

Words by Neil Murphy, Director - Town

 

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Norbord OSB Low Rise High Density Housing

This housing prototype was developed for a RIBA Journal competition looking into the potential for Norbord OSB as a product for creating affordable housing. Working with the material our proposal pushed the material in terms of providing shelter, structure and form within a 4.8×4.8m module that allowed for interlocking units.

The way the units tessellate presents a private space available to each unit proving a density of 115 units per hectare. We chose a brown field site in Byker to show how the units could be planned forming a new community complex on unused plots of land. CNC techniques are utilised to give minimal waste and allow construction on site by relatively unskilled labour.

Our design went on to win the competition with discussions ongoing to develop the prototype for affordable housing

Awards

Winner RIBA Journal Habitat Award

Luanda House

This project looked at the abject poverty in the outskirt of the Angolan capital where many thousands of families arrive to seeking a living. In 2010 the situation was verging on a humanitarian crisis with mega slums developing on road sides with poor sanitation and quality of life for many. The project brief asked to look at construction techniques and the way in which the home works in this part of the world.

Our solution is constructed from adobe bricks, easily available and can be made from the available earth on site with a lightweight roof promoting a passive cooling and thermal mass. The curved form is derived from the vernacular round houses found throughout western Africa; elongating and opening the form provides a semi private courtyard space at the threshold and private shaded courtyard to the rear using the irregular non tessellating form to present positive voids between neighbouring buildings.

Low in energy use and very cheap to construct, our proposal is hoped to give an alternative life changing “vernacular” home.

 

Cantilever House

We are appointed to create a new housing model which can be arranged and adaptable to suit multiple locations across a steeply sloping rural site, providing multiple living conditions within the same structural framework.

County Durham has many sites of significant terrain, which can present issues to standard housing types but here we made this situation an opportunity for the cantilever living space. The design has sleeping accommodation embedded into the site in the lower ground floor area which in itself becomes a plinth for the larger accommodation block above to soar over. Designed as a timber frame solution, the upper block can be arranged with several bedroom options, larger vaulted living space and a number of cladding alternatives giving a variety of outcomes.

The palette of external materials in this self build development keeps to a rural and natural temperament, this has been driven with a strong sustainable agenda. The palette relates strongly to vernacular architecture giving connection within the area and an indication of availability both locally and naturally. The material palette we are suggesting for the scheme includes natural stone, timber cladding and glass maximising daylight.

Malmo Quay Masterplan

We were invited by urban developers Igloo to submit a design proposal for the Malmo Quay where the Ouseburn meets Newcastle Quayside as part of a design competition.

Working with the Urbed masterplan strategy our proposal described the external community space as the generator of the resulting plots which housed the cycle hub, restaurant and live/work units. The view from the Freetrade Pub was a key design driver in the massing with urban space created on the roof of the restaurant to keep the view from obstruction.

The cycle hub building has a dynamic but light structural form to reflect the function it houses and also giving a landmark to this amazing site on the Tyne River.

Back High Street Mixed Use Scheme

Back High Street is a tight historic alley through the Gosforth conservation area of Newcastle characterised in recent history for the small industrial units nestled in the tight urban grain. Several had become vacant over time with an opportunity for redevelopment.

Our scheme unlocks the site with a new three floor block for multiple uses. A single five bedroom courtyard house has been created with passive house aspirations, rooftop productive garden and its own private access. This sits back to back with a block comprising office on the ground floor and two floors of assisted living apartments. This fronts onto the Back High Street giving the street enhanced frontage. The material palette has been developed giving a distinctive urban character that we hoped complements the neighbouring context.