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Longhouse/Mewshouse : Later Living in Bishop’s Waltham

The competition site for these 40 flats and houses sits on the edge of Bishop's Waltham and offers the potential to complete the town and reinforce the boundary between town and the landscape. The proposal aims to integrate a new community and the residents by providing a new square acting as a gateway to the scheme, a hub for home working and entrepreneurs, a community café and an energy centre providing for the development and beyond.

The proposal learns from the town and links into its existing patterns and spaces. A hierarchy of spaces is created from communal to private. Homes are grouped in clusters, evoking the scale and sense of enclosure found in the town’s burgages. Residents access their homes through communal cores serving a maximum of six flats or front doors from the street. Shared entrances provide opportunity for meeting others and socialising. A yard, a shared outdoor space within the cluster, offers a chance for neighbourliness and friendship. Homes are positioned to avoid overlooking, while opening up to the south.