A mixed-tenure neighbourhood to promote wellbeing
After producing a feasibility study for the site, we collaborated with Karakusevic Carson Architects and Morris+Company to take forward this masterplan, with a first phase of housing to detail design.
This masterplan for Harrow Council provides 800 new homes, by creating a neighbourhood on the site of an existing leisure centre and car park that borders Byron Recreation Ground, in North-West London. It is a major part of the Building a Better Harrow regeneration strategy, which seeks to develop council-owned sites to create much-needed affordable housing and employment opportunities for local residents through high-quality placemaking.
Through careful analysis, our proposals unlock the site by forming inviting links to the park and to wider areas, by stitching into existing walking and cycling routes. The introduction of a new urban grain creates streets that open up vistas of Byron Recreation Ground and draw people to the park, activated by a mixture of frontages. Meanwhile, the existing leisure facilities are upgraded and reconfigured as a boulevard that both strengthens the park edge and makes it more permeable.
As part of the masterplan’s first phase, we proposed a 6-storey, 34-apartment building informed by mansion block typologies with mostly larger family homes. Anchoring the north-eastern corner of the site, it is designed from the inside out and shaped by relationships to neighbouring areas. Apartments benefit from efficient, flexible layouts with living areas arranged around inset corner balconies, offering a dual aspect and making it possible to either enclose kitchens or have a larger open-plan space. The building forms part of a landscape setting and is entered via a garden sequence. Inside, residents circulate using a generous, naturally lit stairwell with garden views.
We worked with the other architectural practices to create a coherent visual identity across the masterplan that still enables each building to have its own character. Whilst using bricks and precast concrete from a common material palette, we developed a diamond-shaped decorative motif based on a vertical brick stretcher bond as a distinctive feature.
Byron Quarter directly links to our project at Harrow Civic Centre. Together they transform a significant part of the borough’s town centre and residential areas.