Modern Hamlets as Alternative UK Growth Model
Working in collaboration with Maccreanor Lavington from Rotterdam we have developed concepts for a modern variant on the historic English urban settlement form of the hamlet in medieval surroundings. The client expressed a desire to preserve the rural landscape qualities found across a 300ha+ site primarily consisting of farmed land today. 40 minutes on the train North of London this development will offer an alternative to the commonplace British urban expansion model that consumes the landscape without allowing people to engage with it in a meaningful way. A share of the existing agricultural land use will be retained, whilst new eco-corridors with full public access to the iconic open landscape are established throughout the site.
A symbiotic network of eight distinct development clusters of 20ha each will be stitched into the landscape forming clear development limits and preserving key views across the beautiful landscape. Each cluster contains a compact mix of places of work and places of living as well as shared urban services and civic infrastructure. People moving here will be offered alternative lifestyle opportunities based on generously-sized and well-designed homes in legible neighbourhoods where they can easily form social communities. Multi-generational living opportunities are formed around a legible network of public spaces in the form of streets and greens.
With the focus on environmental and economical sustainability all hamlets integrate a new employment centre at their heart. The proposed industrial and recreational uses have been conceived and tested to form part of an intelligently networked landscape of industrial production and end-user consumption. Convenient movement on foot and bicycle will give good access to schools, a hydroponic supermarket, a computer manufacturing facility, an interactive tannery, and an interactive bakery next to an ice cream factory.
Biggleswade five neighbourhoods
Masterplanner & Landscape Architect
Masterplanning in collaboration with Maccreanor Lavington