Telford Millennium Community

The Millennium Communities Programme aims to set a ‘standard for 21st Century living, and to serve as a model for the creation of new communities’. The scheme promoted innovative building technologies, increased economic and social self-sufficiency, high urban design standards, and sustainable development principles.

 

 

 

Client: Taylor Wimpey / English Partnerships

Location: Telford, UK

Status: Completed 2007

Urban Design: Jon Rowland Urban Design

Photography: Alex Hill

Images: Smoothe, The Neighbourhood

Awards: Housing Design Project Award 2007, Housebuilding Innovation Award – Best Innovation in Design 2007

Telford Millennium Community

The Millennium Communities Programme aims to set a ‘standard for 21st Century living, and to serve as a model for the creation of new communities’. The scheme promoted innovative building technologies, increased economic and social self-sufficiency, high urban design standards, and sustainable development principles.

Designed in collaboration with John Rowland Urban Design, this masterplan for the 40-hectare Millennium Community at Ketley, just outside Birmingham, consists of 850 dwellings of affordable housing, live/work units, a new primary school, offices, retail and leisure services. The plan achieves an urbanity through its geometry of squares and gentle curves reminiscent of Georgian streets and is a delicate and careful response to the rare and protected ecology on the site. As well as broader goals of physical and social regeneration, the masterplan’s specific objectives included environmental targets, ecology and land remediation, design codes and standardisation; offsite constructed housing system and modular shared surfaces. Three distinct character areas were developed, relating to the local topography: a civic area at the entrance containing a new public park and main public square to the school;  an area of environmentally sensitive development with the lowest densities bounding the habitat of protected species; and development around a lake at the foot of the steepest slopes of the site requiring novel residential arrangements. The sinuous central spine road is a ‘formal’ tree lined avenue winding its way through the heart of the site linking these areas, fronted by the tallest and most substantial buildings. Streets branching off give access to lower dwellings in ‘home zones’ with equal priority to pedestrians and vehicles. A radical approach to sustainable housing was developed to design out construction complexity and allow simple off-site manufacture. A basic plan form is achieved by standard components, each of traditional or modern methods of construction. The resulting ‘kit of parts’ allows for a variety of frontage heights and elevational treatments. The form reinforces local character with gabled roofs and frequent changes of materials. In sloping locations living rooms are placed above bedrooms and can occupy the eaves in double height volumes. The overall result is a tenure-blind and varied suburban townscape with the individual character of dwellings celebrated by changes in surface material or roofscape.  All buildings were designed to achieve an ‘excellent’ rating in either the Eco Homes standards or BREEAM ratings. Green corridors create a hierarchy of linear parks, road reserves, private gardens, buffer planting and surface drainage corridors, while more informal parks arc to the north and east with a network of wildlife routes. Public open space functions as wildlife corridors, as play areas, as a setting for the school or community buildings, as a resource for people from the surroundings or as incidental open space. The masterplan and Phase 1 for Telford Millennium Village were completed in 2007, with subsequent phases continuing on site.

 

 

 

Client: Taylor Wimpey / English Partnerships

Location: Telford, UK

Status: Completed 2007

Urban Design: Jon Rowland Urban Design

Photography: Alex Hill

Images: Smoothe, The Neighbourhood

Awards: Housing Design Project Award 2007, Housebuilding Innovation Award – Best Innovation in Design 2007