The masterplan creates a place with generous urbanity, where Peabody residents and home buyers will aspire to live and a place local people will want to visit.
We respond to the heritage of the site by retaining and refurbishing the four ‘best’ buildings and emphasising legible routes to encourage public passage, as well as providing outstanding new affordable housing to add to Peabody’s stock. The North Wing is subtly extended to provide deeper accommodation and cover over a ramp to a new basement. Otherwise the main buildings, refurbished as market dwellings, stand in their original heroic arrangement. Sheltered by the trees along Archway Road and protected from traffic noise and fumes, is a sunken piazza. We suggest new community spaces (nursery, communal kitchens and dining) in the excavated base under the Front Range opening onto this versatile and generous outdoor space. Two new buildings of eight and nine storeys lie on the perimeter of Highgate Hill. They form a courtyard that is enclosed by a masonry screen to create a sense of place while encouraging permeability through the site.
The south facing courtyard, on the axis of the tower, gives the Main Range appropriate prominence. At its heart, Nightingale has an atrium lined with balconies giving access to dual aspect apartments. The South Wing is enclosed by a third large new 10 storey building which forms a prominent corner to the site. A terrace of two/four storey townhouses is placed on the old laundry site. The terrace is set back to allow space for a café and playground at the sunny intersection. On their main elevations each of the apartment blocks have vertical brick bays topped by arches at similar intervals to those of the hospital. Duplexes occur at the base (and, possibly, tops) of the buildings. Protected by front gardens from overlooking, these larger dwellings provide animation and surveillance of public thoroughfares. Higher up, each bay is furnished with balconies, oriel windows and winter gardens.
The façades provide an informal, clearly residential arrangement of outdoor amenity spaces. These are supplemented by roof allotments which are set under a light structure of arched hoops. The arches support glazing or sunshading to shelter both plants and gardeners and mechanical plant is also concealed within arched enclosures to promote a considered appearance to these inhabited roofs.