Jo Cowen Architects were appointed to design a large 700 unit semi-urban Build-to-rent scheme for Lioncor on Marmalade Lane.
Marmalade Lane is a 3.6Ha site situated in between a range of public amenities and private buildings. St Tiernan’s Community School and Ballawley Park run along the North and South East perimeter of the site whilst a low rise residential scheme and religious institution (Carmelite Order) sit to its South and West.
The ambition to create a focal point at the centre of the scheme allows for a massing proposal that naturally wraps around the perimeter of the site, forming a series of enclosed blocks. Significant breaks in the blocks are required due to the notable change in scale relative to the surrounding suburban context. Major and minor access routes need to be accommodated further reducing the impact of the block, providing further relief to define a series of separate buildings. Proximity to the perimeter must be considered so as not to overbear the neighbouring properties.
The natural landscape becomes a defining feature, buildings are carved back forming pockets of green spaces relating to each individual building. The connection of a green route to Ballawley Park will be an important and guiding principle that orientates users and passers-by through the site. The landscape can be used to form visual screening to provide further relief to the scale and location of the buildings, allowing users to focus on the route ahead and towards the ‘hub’ space at the centre of the scheme. The main approach from Wyckham Way can benefit from tree screening, using trees to restrict views of the scheme until you are in closer proximity, allowing for a ‘big reveal’ as you approach the central hub space.
A key aspect of the scheme will be to create a cluster of buildings that provide a sense of connection to the centre of the site. The principle entrances to each building will observe a direct line of site to the central space. The buildings will also have a façade relationship to the central space, reinforcing the sense of community and of being part of one common entity. The physical orientation of the scheme will directly promote and benefit social interaction as well as social programme. The logistical requirements and servicing of a scheme at this scale will remain visually separated from the centralised socially orientated and ‘natural’ environment. By creating perimeter servicing roads, the scheme can cater for frequent amazon deliveries, plant replacement, refuse collection and other back of house services from the rear of the buildings, preserving the central space as a carefully curated pedestrian environment.
The tallest building at 14 storeys will define the character of the scheme from longer views. It is therefore important that the building is of architectural merit and positively contributes to not only the scheme its self, but to the wider area. There is an opportunity to create a dynamic leading edge, with outboard corner balconies affording panoramic views across the local area and beyond. As the tallest building, there is an opportunity to provide a communal roof terrace so that every customer has the ability to access this area. With a lobby entrance located in close proximity to the amenity pavilion, there can be a direct relationship between the amenity provision at ground to that of a high level roof terrace.