As part of the Brighton and Hove ‘New Homes for Neighbourhoods’ competition PDP Architecture was invited to produce four feasibility studies for, four sites in the Brighton and Hove area. All four sites were located on parcels of unused land, sandwiched between existing houses, garages and gardens. It was hoped that by filling these small sites the county’s social housing stock could increase whilst not eating into valuable ’Green Belt’ land.

With each site presenting its own challenges and restrictions it was not possible to produce a methodology which covered all four proposals, therefore a different approach was required for each study.

For Hinton Close pdp architecture llp entered a scheme for 3no. 3 storey 3 bed, 5 person terraced houses. The site is currently vacant with the exception of a substation which is to be retained with full access.  The site is situated on a hill with a level change of approximately 7 meters. The surrounding properties are comprised of mainly semidetached family homes with generous gardens and parking.

The aim of the design was to integrate the massing of the development with the existing incline of the land through use of retaining walls where necessary. The lower level of the site faces South East and provided an ideal aspect for dining and living spaces on the lower ground floor along with bedrooms on the first floor. Each terrace is designed to step back several meters from its neighbour, creating car ports in front of each house. The kitchen overlooks this area on the ground floor and an extruded angular bay partially extends over each car port at first floor creating an interesting master bedroom with windows facing towards the site entrance. The manipulation of the façade at first floor aims to break up the overall mass, giving the terrace a contemporary spin on the surrounding dwellings.

As each of the three properties steps back and down by differing levels we felt it important to unify the massing of the development with a joint roof of equal gradient. We see an opportunity to give each property a differing identity and propose the entrance area on the front elevations of each house could differ in material. The development is predominantly grey brick with dark window frames, however softer materials are proposed for the lower level cladding and retaining walls between car ports.  The houses have also been designed to achieve Life Time Homes criteria and Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4.