Gunsgreenhill Affordable Housing Project comprises nine two-bedroom affordable houses for older people or young couples with children and occupies a narrow strip of land at the edge of the original Gunsgreen Estate.
Gunsgreenhill proved particularly challenging because of the considerable falls across the site. The slope allows the ground floor living rooms to be elevated 1.5m above the street level car parking with windows looking south. Within the constraints of forming level access, the living rooms still manage to create a degree of privacy and separation between the occupant and neighbours passing in front of each others’ houses.
The housing has been arranged into groups of three with a rhythm of pairs mirrored along separating party walls. This avoids an overly dominant order of three blocks of three symmetrical blocks and instead creates a less formal rhythm of ‘A B A gap B A B gap A B A’. Fully glazed entrances are recessed one metre to provide a threshold and shade to the glazing. These recesses punctuate the façade and, together with the alternating coloured panels next to first floor windows, make this rhythm part of the housing’s character.
With long views to the west across to farm buildings and to the north along the coastline, the dark render and roof tiles form a silhouette of a scale similar to the adjacent agricultural buildings. Inside, the stairs are tucked to one side and the first floor landing is pulled back from the glazing to allow light to enter deep into the hall.