The proposal has a simple and elegant elevation to How Street, with window proportions and rhythm chosen to echo the listed Corporation housing opposite. The form opens up on its eastern side, with a roof garden, bay windows and additional stone faced cladding materials adding interest to the new pedestrian thoroughfare. The Bretonside elevation has a robust gable end, again using brickwork and bay windows to aid the legibility and visual interest of the building. The overall form and mass of the building has been kept intentionally simple, picking up on the surrounding architectural and historic cues, and helping to reinforce the quality of How Street. The site is an infill, that repairs this neglected part of Plymouth’s urban fabric.
The footprint of the proposal virtually covers the site and so a large terrace has been created on the roof of the communal lounge. This overlooks the small park and the new leisure centre and opens the corner of the building to its urban setting. The building has been designed with fabric first principals incorporating high levels of thermal insulation and utilising PV panels on the south facing roof slope. These are virtually invisible to the public as the height of the building and narrowness of the vista from the surrounding streets restricts long distance views of the buildings roofscape.
The design layouts and apartment plans were developed in consultation with the public sector stakeholders representing the RSL client, Social Service Special Needs Housing and Planning whilst managing a tight construction budget and working within the Source Framework Fee scale. The design team, client and public sector stakeholders are very proud of the completed scheme and it has consequently been entered by the Planning Department for the RTPI Design awards.