Oakfield

Swindon

Nationwide are working to create quality, fairly priced homes that people want and need. Metropolitan Workshop are working with them to take a fresh approach to development in Nationwide’s home town of Swindon as part of a commitment to find local solutions to a national housing crisis.

The scheme provides 239 homes with a mixture of tenures, suitable for local people at every stage of their life, from first time buyers, to families and over 55s. The project aims to deliver a high quality benchmark for housing, which challenges the approach of the traditional volume housebuilder. The economic arrangement of home types, forming terraces around communal courts, are designed to foster community spirit, and enable a higher proportion of the site to be devoted to soft landscape, even at high parking densities.

The project has been developed through extensive consultation with the local community and in close dialogue with the council’s planning team. The conceptual framework for the
development is based on creating a permeable and walkable new neighbourhood with a grid of streets and paths that respond to existing facilities: local shops, bus stops, walking and cycling routes, allotments and open green spaces, to facilitate the integration of the site with the surrounding area. New streets and parks can connect these neighbourhoods with valued local amenities. A single primary vehicular street connects Greenbridge Road and Marlowe Avenue. It feeds the dwellings via tertiary roads, which are designed to be over looked to allow for safe, pedestrian priority shared areas which integrate parking with footpaths and communal gardens therefore maximising permeability and accessibility.

Expressing the relationships between the buildings and their adjacent open spaces, creates a neighbourhood with a palpable sense of identity. The development is designed to extend its positive influence beyond the site boundaries, improving the public realm around the shops, creating a new community hub near the Oakfield project and a special education school located adjacent to the site. This connects the surrounding communities to the local amenities and to each other along attractive new routes.

What makes Oakfield different?
A Community Organiser has been employed to work with local people, giving them a voice in the community we’re collaboratively creating. Through research, different generations of people tell us they’d like to live side by side, which is unusual in new developments. Due to innovative design, people will be able to stay in their homes through to later life.

Team: PRP (Collaborating Architects) / Land Use Consultants (Landscape Architect) / Lichfields (Planning Consultants) / XCO2 (M&E Consultants) / Alan Baxters Ltd (Structural Engineers) / Calford Seaden (Quantity Surveyor)

Collaborators: Chris Brown Claire Bennie John Farrell John Long

"Our vision is to create a strong community based on our mutual roots. Demonstrating how building homes can be done differently to disrupt the housing sector for good."

Nationwide