Page 54 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
P. 54
Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Creating rural places: Considering site characteristics Slopes 1 STEPPING DOWN THE SLOPE 2 MINIMISE CUT AND FILL This not only involves considerable Traditionally the “farmhouse” was constructed a foot or two higher than any adjoining earth-moving, under-building and retention outhouses. The visual appearance of this structure costs, but is also expensive and can common characteristic could be replicated in be exceedingly visually intrusive. modern day rural social housing schemes. Where there are significant slopes, these need to be considered as part of the design process. In particular the drum- 3 ATTRACTIVE RETAINING STRUCTURES 4 ROADS SHOULD BE TO ADOPTABLE STANDARDS lins which are the archetypal topographical feature of a considerable part of lowland Northern Ireland, typically have A well constructed DRD Roads Service will adopt roads up to a slopes of between 1:8 and 1:20 and can be steeper in places. natural stone retaining maximum gradient of 1:10, however to comply wall is an attractive with Lifetimehomes standards, roads at social Development on steeper slopes can create particularly interesting places, but the contemporary emphasis on stan- method of addressing housing developments should not exceed 1:20. dards, based on laudable safety and accessibility concerns, can be a major inhibition and difficulty for the creative necessary differences designer. The steeper the slope, the greater the challenge of delivering an attractive contemporary development. of level. They will age to become part of the The steepest slopes are probably best avoided, such are the difficulties of creating an attractive, safe and accessible landscape. residential environment within the context of obligatory standards and the additional costs incurred. Where there are significant slope variations within the site, there is merit in avoiding building on the steepest slopes, which can then be landscaped, to the benefit of wider amenity. This scheme addresses a change in level of the site by creating an entrance for one unit directly from the 1 UNIT No.2 street and the other from a lower courtyard. Development on slopes create opportunities to vary roofscapes and divide building forms into smaller components aiding visual integration. UNIT No.1 UNIT No.1 3 OUTBUILDINGS UNIT No.2 4 2 “Stepping” social housing units at Plockton, Scotland by Rural Design Architects for Lochalsh and Skye Housing Associ- An illustration of how rural social dwellings step up a hill at a notional scheme at Mulleek, Co. Fermanagh, demon- ation. strating design features and principles to apply when designing schemes on sloping land. 54 55
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