As part of a competition entry, BDAL investigated whether a high-density housing scheme could be created that was effi cient enough to allow each dwelling their own plot of land. Through an effi cient access grid this high-density low-rise housing mat provides individual gardens to every dwelling together with a generous south-facing community park with complete connection to the river. The sustainable dwellings cluster side-to-side and back-to-back beneath a serrated undulating roof-scape. Internal light-wells give each home feature volumes, daylight and ventilation. The competition entries featured in Building Design Magazine and an exhibition at Manchester’s CUBE Gallery. Your own piece of green and pleasant land As suitable land becomes prime, density must rise beyond traditional housing levels. This high-density low-rise mat retains the ability for everyone to own their own piece of Britain.

Urban strategy 

The rolling rooftops are devised to form a landscape of urban hills, intersecting and overlapping through perspective, with the serrated roof scape producing a reflection of a traditional urban grain. The organising grid system provides an interconnecting layout, with pedestrian-friendly shared surfaces throughout the neighbourhood, which respect the width of traditional urban streets. Connections are provided to the surrounding areas and public spaces. Gateways are made at the east-west entries to the neighbourhood to signal the main areas of permeability. The main public space opens to the south sun



and provides total connection of the scheme to the river Tees. Land use / density strategy / typological forms. The flexible grid allows patterns of different house types to be interchanged within a homogenous whole.   The standard two and three-bedroom house types can be clustered side-to-side and back-to-back for maximum efficiency, with light wells at the rear providing feature volumes as well as daylight and ventilation200 dwellings are provided with an allowance of 100 general car parking spaces as part of the sustainable transport strategy.  The efficiency of both the dwellings and the layout allows for a generous public park at the heart of the scheme, which includes a performance space, a large pond and food vending. The single-storey single-bedroom units are clustered around the public park. This typology has been developed to be inclusive of the elderly and to provide engagement of all ages. The inflecting roof lines and light wells provide generous, bright and interesting volumes in all of the dwellings. Each house type features substantial double height void spaces and private gardens.


The clustered housing, with economical perimeter walls, affords energy efficiency. The park area and pond form part of the sustainable drainage strategy.  A zone is designated at the park area for a central car sharing facility that is to be provided as part of the transport strategy. The orthogonal similarities of the streets with traditional philanthropic housing, together with the generous communal open space, combine to give a tangible sense of future community.