RIBA Stage 3
Collective Architecture was approached by a joint client body consisting of Moray Council and Grampian Housing Association in late 2019 to develop a residential scheme for a large site on the edge of Elgin.
A previous masterplan study has shown that around 200 units could be accommodated on the site with provisions for communal green spaces and park areas.
The client’s brief called for circa 200 units for social rent with a mix of house types. The project was also to include a ‘Care Village’ which provides homes for individuals with learning disabilities. The brief targeted ambitious standards for sustainability, high-quality design and landscaping across the site.
The design was based on a Placemaking approach which aimed to create a high quality, sustainable scheme that built on the much loved features of the existing site, whilst accommodating all the needs of a new residential neighbourhood. The masterplan was landscape led - with a diverse and rich landscape framework being established from the outset. This aimed to both link the new development to the wider area and create spaces for both residents and nature to flourish.
The appraoch to the housing design - with strong gable forms, vertical propotions and a simple material pallette - evolved from a close reading of the existing vernacular context, historic housing precedents and contemporary housing forms.
Orientating the building’s gables to the street and the use of a steep rural pitch of 40 to 45˚ create a sense of place and street rhythm. Further developments, grouping gables houses and exploring set backs at key turning points / to define spaces, all started to create a simple urban language rooted in the local context.
The concept design for the Care Village explored ideas of clustering and connecting the homes to the wider community whilst providing protected private space that wasn’t overlooked. These homes occupy a similar form to the surrounding homes, ensuring theirintegration into the wider community.